What Are The Options For Keratoconus Treatment?
Mr Glenn Carp – “Keratoconus can be treated in a number of ways but there is a big distinction into two groups. On the one hand you can correct the visual disturbance which is associated with keratoconus and that can be done with conventional methods such as contact lenses, particularly rigid or semirigid contact lenses along with certain little plastic rings that can be inserted into the eye which will change the shape of the cornea from an irregular to a regular shape, they are called Intacs. Then other more aggressive for much more advised keratoconus is a corneal graft whereby we replace the cornea and therefore bring it into a more regular shape. On the other side of the coin, we have treatments nowadays to prevent keratoconus from worsening. So if people are identified at a very young age or any early phase of the condition, we can use corneal collagen cross linking to freeze the cornea, to stiffen it and hold its position from what it has developed to. It is not really possible to reverse the condition although in a very small group of people they do get a little bit of reversal but the mainstay of this treatment is to stabilise the cornea in its current position allowing conventional things like contact lenses to correct the vision and avoiding much more invasive surgery like corneal graft surgery in the future.”
Keratoconus Treatment Explained Further…
Cross-linking is a non-surgical treatment for keratoconus that strengthens the cornea by increasing the strength of the natural ‘molecular anchors’ within corneal tissue. In normal eyes, it is these anchors that give the cornea strength and prevent it becoming cone-like.
It can be combined with Intacs® to flatten the keratoconus cone even further. Intacs® are clear inserts that reshape the natural cornea to correct vision following keratoconus, Intacs® are placed below the surface of the cornea and so cannot be felt or seen. Made from a material used safely in contact lenses and cataract surgery for over 50 years, they are exchangeable and removable.
The Cross-linking treatment stabilises the keratoconic condition and helps the Intacs® reverse any distortion that has already occurred.