Queens Vistasite Eye Care

Keratoconus

Comprehensive Eye Care located in Elmhurst, NY

Keratoconus

Keratoconus services offered in Elmhurst, NY

Unlike many eye conditions that develop as you get older, keratoconus begins in teens and young adults, causing progressive changes affecting their vision. You can slow or stop these changes with early treatment from Vlada Straton, OD, Nadezhda Nisimova, OD, and the team at Vistasite Eye Care in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, New York. They closely monitor the changes in your eye, providing individualized care that protects your vision. Don’t wait to schedule an eye exam. Call the New York City office or book online today.

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye condition affecting your cornea, the clear, dome-shaped layer covering your eye. The cornea is essential for vision. It uses its round shape to bend incoming light and focus it on the center of your lens.

When keratoconus develops, the cornea gradually thins out, and the middle of the cornea bulges outward into a cone-like shape. This has a significant impact on your vision.

Keratoconus usually begins in the late teens or early 20s. The thinning and bulging worsens for about 10-20 years until the cornea stabilizes and the progressive problem stops.

There’s no way to predict how quickly keratoconus may progress because it differs for each person. Additionally, the damage that occurs can’t be reversed, but treatment can stop the thinning. That’s why it’s important to schedule an exam at Vistasite Eye Care as soon as you notice symptoms.

What are the symptoms of keratoconus?

Keratoconus usually occurs in both eyes, but the changes in each one may occur at a different rate. In the early stages, keratoconus causes:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted vision (straight lines look wavy)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Red eyes
  • Swelling

As keratoconus progresses, you experience vision changes such as nearsightedness or astigmatism. With nearsightedness, close-up objects are clear, but faraway objects are blurry. Astigmatism causes blurriness in close-up and distance vision.

How is keratoconus treated?

If you have keratoconus, you should never rub your eyes. It only takes gentle rubbing to damage the thinning cornea further.

The team at Vistasite Eye Care can discuss keratoconus treatment options, such as:

Contact lenses

In the early stages, you may get by with eyeglasses, but as the disease progresses, hard contacts or specialized scleral contact lenses correct vision changes while also containing the shape of the cornea.

Intacs®

Intacs are implanted around the edge of your cornea. They flatten the cornea, improving your vision and possibly slowing the progressive thinning.

Collagen cross-linking

This procedure involves placing drops of riboflavin (vitamin B2) in your eyes while exposing them to ultraviolet light. The light activates riboflavin, triggering a natural reaction that builds and strengthens the cornea. 

Though no treatment can reverse any existing corneal damage, a cross-linking procedure stops keratoconus from worsening.

Corneal transplant

In the most severe cases, you may sustain enough damage to need a corneal transplant. 

To learn if your vision changes or symptoms may be related to keratoconus, call Vistasite Eye Care or request an appointment online today.