Keratoconus

21:55 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Keratoconus?

It is an eye condition in which the cornea loses thickness, deforms, and acquires the morphology of a cone that protrudes from the eyeball, making it photosensitive and causing unfocused vision. Although it usually affects both eyes, there is always one in which the damage is greater, appearing in children and young people between 12 and 26 years old. The evolution of this condition is gradual, so it may take several years to progress. During the initial and intermediate stages, it is possible to correct the vision impairment with the use of glasses or contact lenses, but in very advanced stages, a corneal transplant will be necessary. Currently, there is the so-called corneal collagen cross-linking, a surgical treatment that slows down or stops the progression of the disease, avoiding the possible corneal transplant.

Symptoms

It is characterized by:
  • Vision distortion.
  • Photosensitivity.
  • Gradual loss of visual ability.
  • Drastic and abrupt changes in vision.
Go to your ophthalmologist if you have any of these symptoms to be diagnosed and treated early. Although the direct cause of this anomaly is unknown, genetic and environmental issues have been identified that favor its appearance, such as:
  • Family members who have suffered from it.
  • Excess force in eye rubbing.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Asthma.

Diagnosis and treatment

Once your symptoms and medical history are analyzed, your ophthalmologist will perform an eye exam that will include a refraction test, a slit lamp observation, keratometry, tomography, and corneal topography. The therapeutic approach focuses on correcting visual impairment and slowing down the condition’s progression. The treatment plan is established according to the magnitude of the keratoconus and the speed at which it develops. If you are in the initial or intermediate stages of keratoconus, the alternative is the prescription of framed glasses or contact lenses, which may be:
  • Initial stage: Framed glasses or soft contact lenses.
  • Intermediate stage: Hard, hybrid, or layered contact lenses.
  • Advanced-stage: Scleral lenses. A corneal transplant will be required if it is not enough to correct vision.
Remember that when using hard or scleral contact lenses, you must undergo periodic ophthalmological check-ups to verify that they fit correctly since otherwise, the lenses can cause further damage to the cornea. In the case of rapid progress, corneal collagen cross-linking is recommended, a procedure that can stop the progress, although it does not correct the damage caused, so it must be combined with other treatments such as the use of glasses. When the corneal tissue presents abundant scar tissue, making it impossible to wear glasses and the consequent visual improvement, a corneal transplant is the only option. At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • topdoctors.es
  • cun.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Jareño OM, Pérez PZ, Castillo PA, et al. Resultados tomográficos luego del tratamiento del queratocono con crosslinking corneal. Rev Cub Oftal. 2020;33(1):1-11.
  • Pérez PZ, Jareño OM, Fernández GK, et al. Seguridad de la queratoplastia lamelar anterior profunda versus queratoplastia penetrante en el tratamiento del queratocono. Rev Cub Oftal. 2020;33(1):1-10.
  • Rojas-Álvarez E. Queratocono en edad pediátrica: características clínico-refractivas y evolución. Centro de Especialidades Médicas Fundación Donum, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2015-2018. Rev Mex Oftalmol. 2019;93(5):221-232.
  • Sánchez CM, Nájera AÁG, Razo Blanco HDM, et al. Pronóstico anatómico y funcional del trasplante de córnea en pacientes con queratocono al año de seguimiento. Rev Hosp Jua Mex. 2010;77(1):50-53.

						
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