Keratoconus FAQs

Keratoconus FAQs Answered by an Optometrist in Longmont, CO

There are numerous reasons why someone might need to see an eye doctor, and one of the diseases is called keratoconus. Approximately 100,000 patients each year, their eyeball isn't shaped like a sphere. Instead, their eyes have a conical shape, which indicates a condition known as keratoconus. If you're one of these individuals, our optometrist at Main Street Vision Care in Longmont, CO, can help optimize your vision. We are here to educate everyone on vision problems, starting with keratoconus. 

What Is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an issue where your eye is shaped more like a cone. As a result, light enters your eye and doesn't reflect on your retina correctly. It originates from your cornea thinning. When this occurs, your eye bulges and has a cone-like shape. 

What Are the Signs of Keratoconus?

Individuals who have this condition may experience blurred or distorted vision and experience sensitivity to light or glare. You might notice a rapid change in your vision. Often, a person with keratoconus has frequent eyewear prescription changes before he or she receives a diagnosis. Since you can't tell the actual shape of your eye and other issues may cause similar problems, only an optometrist can diagnose keratoconus. 

How Does an Optometrist Diagnose Keratoconus?

The diagnostic process of keratoconus begins with a standard vision screening. This is when you read the letters that appear in a lens, and our optometrist continuously changes the lens' power until you see the letters. After, you receive a test for astigmatism, which consists of you identifying the clarity of images. 

You may need a slit-lamp examination. This test uses a beam of light shined directly on your eye's surface, along with a microscope that gives our optometrist a view of the inside of your eye. From this exam, our eye doctor can evaluate the shape of your cornea to assess it for abnormalities. We could also use keratometry, which uses a circle of light to determine the shape of your eye. Computerized corneal mapping could help diagnose this condition as well. 

How Does an Optometrist Treat Keratoconus?

When keratoconus is mild to moderate, standard soft contacts or eyeglasses may be enough to treat your condition. For some, this is all the treatment they'll ever need if the cornea becomes stabilized within a few years of their diagnosis. However, normal contacts may eventually not adequately correct your vision. In these cases, our optometrist may recommend gas-permeable lenses, which is a hard-contact that better support your eye's shape. We can also discuss the option of Ortho-K for gas-permeable lenses you sleep in. 

Schedule an appointment with Main Street Vision Care, serving Longmont, CO, and the surrounding area, today for a vision examination and possibly a screening for keratoconus. 

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