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Moorfields Private Blog

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    What are the treatment options for Keratoconus

    15 March 2018


    Keratoconus causes thinning of the cornea – the dome over the front of the eye – which can, over time, lead to this normally round dome developing a cone-shaped bulge. If you are diagnosed during the early stages of this progressive condition, you may only need glasses or contact lenses to correct the problem. However, as keratoconus can become worse as time moves on, it may become pertinent to explore treatment options. Read on to learn about the best ways to treat keratoconus.

    However, it is important to note that this information does not replace the individualised information that would be provided by a specialist Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon.

    How does it affect vision?

    As the cornea thins and changes shape, the eye becomes unable to focus properly, leading to poor vision. If the condition becomes advanced, individuals may develop corneal scarring, which reduces the amount of light that is able to enter the eye and leads to blurred vision.

    Corneal cross-linking (CXL)

    Effective in over 90% of patients, this new treatment can stop keratoconus getting worse. It uses ultraviolet light and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) drops to strengthen your cornea, preventing further thinning. Moorfields also offer an ‘accelerated CXL’ treatment, which takes around just 20 minutes to perform.


    Corneal rings

    Intracorneal stromal ring implants (ICRS) are placed in a laser-formed channel in your cornea, with the aim of improving its overall shape and reducing irregularity. You may require either one or two rings, depending on how severe your keratoconus is.  This kind of treatment can be combined with, or precede, corneal cross-linking.

    Transepithelial phototherapeutic keratectomy (TransPTK)

    This laser treatment is designed to flatten and smooth the surface of your cornea, which helps to improve its focus and sharpen vision while wearing glasses or contact lenses. This treatment can also be combined with corneal cross-linking in the same procedure.

    Phakic intraocular lens implants

    If you have good vision in glasses or soft contact lenses, lens implants in one or both eyes could work for you. This may not be effective in correcting your vision if you are dependent on rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGP).



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