Keratoconus is a disease in which the cornea -the first lens eye- undergoes progressive thinning, loses its spherical form and acquires a conical shape. Usually bilateral, but asymmetric and progressive.
What causes keratoconus?
Keratoconus is caused by a weak- the collagen fibers forming the córnea-, unable to withstand the pressure within the eye, which makes it go forward elongating.
Although the cause of the weakness is not entirely clear, they have been implicated genetic, environmental and factors specific to the patient and rubbing eyes or atopy. Up to 50% of patients with keratoconus vigorously rub eyes.
What are the symptoms of keratoconus?
The disease usually presents in adolescence and progresses until the third or fourth decade of life, and since then the slower progression. Begins with myopia and astigmatism unstable, being patient graduating difficult and they change from time to time graduation. Initially, visual acuity may be normal, but as the disease progresses, visual acuity decreases and does not improve with graduation.
How is keratoconus?
In a first phase, with small cones in which progression is observed, it is indicated treatment with crosslinking. This treatment consists is to "freeze" the cornea, Riboflavin and harden with ultraviolent radiation to prevent progression of the cone.
In more advanced cases where there is severe deformity or visual acuity is compromised, treatment rings are intrastromal. These are devices that are placed within the cornea to strengthen it and prevent further thinning.
In late stages of disease, when the cornea is too thin or no scarring, the preferred treatment is transplantation. Today , the ophthalmologist can do transplant only the affected area, preserving the healthy parts of the patient 's cornea. In general, patients with keratoconus are usually patients with good prognosis for a transplant.