Keratoconus is a degenerative disease of the cornea that is characterized by a progressive thinning and protrusion in which it takes the form of a cone.
The cornea is the most anterior part of the eye, in the form of a "transparent dome", which communicates with the exterior, like a window. In a wristwatch, it would be equivalent to the glass on the watch face.
One of the factors that most influence the development and progression of a keratoconus is ocular rubbing .
On the other hand, this disease can have an important genetic component. It can also be associated with allergic processes .
The symptom of keratoconus is the loss of vision to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the progress of the disease. At the beginning, the patient preserves an important amount of vision, but there may be a loss in the quality of vision and a lot of difficulty adjusting the refraction of his glasses.
In the final stages there may be a significant deterioration of the image and affect both your work life and your leisure activities. Hence the importance of early diagnosis of the disease, going to the annual reviews of the ophthalmologist.
The periodic realization of a topography is fundamental for the diagnosis and control of this alteration. The topography is a color map of the cornea and informs us of the progression of the disease. Other technologies such as anterior segment OCT and corneal thickness measurement can help us in the diagnosis.
The most important is prevention , avoiding ocular rubbing. Early diagnosis of the disease is essential to prevent progression and the patient does not need a cornea transplant.
However, there are currently very effective techniques for its treatment, such as the implantation of intracorneal rings (see photo) and " crosslinking ". They are new technologies, customized that allow us the personalized treatment of our patients.
Currently, due to personalized surgical treatments, transplantation is only reserved for very advanced cases , where the corneal rings do not take effect, or in cases where there are central corneal scars.
On the other hand, the great advance in the techniques of cornea transplantation, allows us not to perform a transplant of the entire cornea (penetrating keratoplasty), but only of the damaged layers. This greatly reduces the rate of corneal transplant rejection in these patients.
It manages to stop the process and maintain a visual acuity adequate enough to have a visual quality, and therefore a quality of life that allows our patients to perform all their daily activities of work and leisure.