Keratoconus is a progressive disease usually up to the patient’s mid thirties. If they suffer from atopic disease and rub their eyes they may be at risk of progressing despite their age. Atopic symptoms should be treated appropriately.
Patients who are very young at presentation or who have been documented with signs of disease progression should be treated with collagen cross linking therapy. This involves applying a dye to the cornea (riboflavin) and applying an ultraviolet laser to the cornea. This creates a reaction within the cornea leading to collagen fibres “cross linking” thereby stiffening the cornea and resisting further ectasia. Approximately a third of patients will show some improvement in their disease. If however patients continue to progress the treatment can be repeated.
Keratoconus affects approximately 0.5% of the population. The disease severity determines how early the disease presents itself and how it is treated. Glasses or RGPs are the preferred first treatment option. Surgery can be used for cases of glasses or RGP intolerance. If the disease is mild to moderate intrastromal ring segments may be indicated (see Kera rings). If the disease is severe then Keratoplasty is required to restore vision. Younger patients who are at risk of developing the condition further are treated with collagen cross linking.
Kerarings are also used to treat Keratoconus. The procedure involves inserting clear, semi circular rings in the periphery of the cornea to improve its shape.
The goal of this procedure is to provide the Keratoconic patient with the ability to achieve improved functional vision with contact lenses or glasses.
Kerarings are safe, removable, replaceable and is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Kera rings restore the cornea to a more natural shape and improves the quality of life.