Streaking lights, blurred vision, or seeing double. These sound like typical vision problems, right? But did you know these are all symptoms of an eye disease called keratoconus? Keratoconus begins during the teenage years and can progressively become worse. The following will help you know the signs of keratoconus and what you can do about it.
How it starts
Keratoconus is the product of weakened collagen that is supposed to hold the cornea in place. Normally, healthy eyes have a dome-shaped cornea. In the case of keratoconus, a decrease in antioxidants leads to weakened protein fibers (known as collagen). As a result, the dome-shaped cornea progressively bulges outward forming a cone shape. Studies show that keratoconus runs in families. If you have this condition and have children, make sure you schedule regular eye exams for them beginning at age 10. Even if keratoconus is not discovered right away, it can appear years later.
How it can hurt your vision
The damage created by keratoconus makes it difficult to have the clear vision. In extreme cases, a corneal transplant may be necessary. In milder situations, new glasses or contact lenses will do the trick. If you have keratoconus, do not get LASIK surgery. LASIK will only weaken your cornea more and make your vision worse.
If you notice a sudden change in vision, streaking lights, seeing double or triple, or the appearance of halos around bright lights, arrange a consultation with your eye doctor to determine the problem. All of these are symptoms of keratoconus, so be sure to have it checked it properly.
How it can be treated
If new eyeglasses or contacts do not improve your keratoconus situation, you may require further treatment. This includes a laser procedure that will smooth out any scarring, a treatment called cornea collagen crosslinking, or a cornea transplant.
Get an eye exam
If you think you have any of the symptoms related to keratoconus, don’t hesitate to call the Eye Care Institute. Arrange your next eye exam by calling our office at (707) 546-9800. We look forward to addressing your concerns and answering your questions.