woman taking Keratoconus exam

Keratoconus is an eye disorder that can affect your vision and tends to become progressively worse over time.

Here at Eye Society in Chicago, we treat patients with this disorder on a regular basis. There are a number of effective treatment options available, so there is no need to put up with poor vision.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a disorder in which the lens of the eye starts to thin and bulge outward. This causes the front of the eye, which filters light, to become distorted. Blurred vision is the main symptom of the disorder.

There appears to be a genetic component to at least some cases of keratoconus. People with a relative who has the disorder are more likely to have it themselves.

Sometimes, excessive exposure to UV rays and chronic eye irritation are associated with the condition.

woman getting Keratoconus exam

The first signs of keratoconus usually appear during the person’s 20s, although they can appear earlier or later.

People with this condition usually experience progressive vision changes over the following 10 to 20 years. They may need a new prescription every year or even more often.

Treatment Options

Keratoconus is primarily treated using eyeglasses and contact lenses at first. However, because the condition affects the shape of the eye, soft lenses are typically not effective. Some custom soft lenses are available for people who have the milder form of the condition.

In later forms of the disease, glasses are not effective, either. Many people at this stage of the condition choose surgical treatments to strengthen the cornea, which helps prevent it from bulging outward so much. There are several forms of treatment, including corneal crosslinking and intacs.

The newest and most advanced contact lens treatment for the disease is scleral lenses. Scleral lenses can vault over the misshapen cornea and replace the function of natural soft contact lenses. 

Scleral lenses are the latest treatment for individuals with irregular cornea because they can vary in size from the diameter of a typical soft contact lens to much larger, which improves the comfort of the lens.  

Other options include hybrid lenses, which have soft edges and a hard center, or ‘piggybacking’ lenses, which involves wearing a soft lens under a hard one for increased comfort.

In severe cases, people with keratoconus may even require a cornea transplant.

Get Screening and Treatment for Keratoconus in Chicago

Here in Chicago, Eye Society offers contact lens fittings for people with keratoconus and vision screenings for people who are at risk. If you have keratoconus, we can help you decide on the proper treatment option.

If you are a Chicago resident and have any of these symptoms or suspect that you may be suffering from one of the mentioned conditions, you need to see our optometrists in Chicago immediately.

Contact Eye Society at (312) 640-2405 (Streeterville) or (312) 631-3247 (Loop) to find out how our eye doctors can further assist you or to make an appointment.