Just as a slight bump or chip on the lens of a camera can distort the image it takes, so can any imperfection on any of the many parts of the eye distort the image sent to the brain. For example, keratoconus is an eye disorder in which the shape of the cornea of the eye, the clear structure at the front of the eye that allows light in becomes distorted. The cornea, which is normally shaped like a dome can sag and becomes conical placing a strain on the eyes and making it harder to see especially at night. Our Riverside eye specialist at EyeCare Associates of San Bernardino is trained and experienced at helping patients with keratoconus and other eye disorders..
Keratoconus usually starts during the teenage or young adult years and may progress over 10 or 20 years, during this time vision worsens so frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions are often necessary. According to our Riverside eye specialist, the exact cause of the disorder is unknown. Symptoms of keratoconus include difficulty driving at night, experiencing a halo effect at night, eyestrain, headaches and eye pain as well as eye irritation and excessive rubbing of the eyes. Our keratoconus care practice uses a slit-lamp examination to diagnose the disease as well as measuring the corneal curvature. Since the early stage symptoms of keratoconus are very similar to those of other eye conditions one cannot make an accurate diagnosis just from the symptoms alone. Our doctor looks for features such as corneal thinning, stress lines and scarring at the apex of the corneal cone.
Our Riverside eye specialist treats the disease using the latest advances in keratoconus care. Collagen Cross-Linking is a new treatment that our doctor uses to halt the progressive changes in the cornea. The new treatment combines specially formulated Riboflavin with carefully engineered ultraviolet light therapy. During the early and middle stages of the disease many patients are helped through the use of contact lenses, especially special gas permeable lenses. For those patients who aren’t helped by the use of lenses or can’t wear contact lenses Intacs corneal inserts and Kera-rings are a helpful alternative. In advanced cases where other treatments aren’t possible or have not worked our doctor may perform surgery and do a corneal transplant. If you have any of the symptoms of keratoconus please make an appointment to have our doctor examine your eyes to see exactly what the problem is and begin treatment.