Personalized Optometrist Care in Katy
Dr. Kauffman has been treating and managing patients with keratoconus for the past 12 years. Every patient with keratoconus is unique, some patients may achieve success with glasses or soft contact lenses while others may need to wear gas-permeable or scleral lenses to achieve optimal visual acuity. Dr. Kauffman takes the time to evaluate each individual patient with keratoconus and develops a customized treatment and management plan for that patient to provide the best visual acuity and quality of vision possible.
When it comes to dealing with conditions like keratoconus, having an experienced optometrist is crucial. Located right in Katy, Texas, Dr. Kauffman at Contemporary Eye Care is a renowned eye doctor with a track record of successfully treating patients with this condition. With expertise not just as an optometrist but also as a keratoconus specialist, Dr. Kauffman understands the intricacies involved in managing and treating this eye condition.
What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus (KC) is a progressive eye disease that affects the shape and thickness of the cornea, causing it to bulge outward in a cone-like shape. This can cause visual distortions, such as blurred or double vision, and sensitivity to light. Although KC can cause significant vision changes, it does not cause permanent blindness. Keratoconus typically develops during the teenage years and progresses slowly over time, before stabilizing in the 30s and 40s. However, variations can occur. Some patients may not notice vision changes until their 20s or 30s while others may experience vision changes during early teenage years or even before.
Keratoconus is a considered bilateral condition, although one eye may experience more blur or distortions than the other.
Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that affects the shape and clarity of the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. It can cause distorted vision, sensitivity to light, and other visual disturbances. The symptoms of keratoconus can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms include:
• Blurred or distorted vision, especially at night.
• Double vision in one eye.
• Halos or glare around lights.
• Sensitivity to light.
• Eye redness and swelling
• Eye strain or fatigue
Causes of Keratoconus:
The exact cause of keratoconus is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some possible causes include:
- Abnormalities in the collagen fibers that make up the cornea
- Allergies or atopy – severe itching of eyes
- Genetics – family history of Keratoconus
- Certain medical conditions, such as allergies or connective tissue disorders
Keratoconus can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, which may include:
- Visual acuity test: This measures how well you can see at different distances
- Refraction test: This determines your exact eyeglass prescription
- Corneal topography (mapping): This measures the shape/curvature and thickness of the cornea
- Biomicroscope exam: A high-powered microscope is used to examine the cornea for signs of keratoconus
Keratoconus often develops during one’s teenage years, making regular eye exams essential. As an experienced eye doctor in Katy, Dr. Kauffman emphasizes the importance of these exams. Early detection can lead to more effective treatments and management plans tailored to the patient’s needs.
Treatment Options for Keratoconus:
There are several treatment options available for keratoconus, depending on the severity of the condition. For those who require vision correction, Contemporary Eye Care provides an extensive range of contact lenses and treatments. Depending on your specific needs and the progression of your keratoconus, soft contact lenses or specialized scleral lenses might be recommended. Dr. Kauffman, a noted keratoconus specialist, ensures that patients receive the best fitting and most comfortable lenses possible.
Spectacles may provide acceptable vision for patients with mild levels of keratoconus. However, spectacles do not provide optimal vision in patients with more moderate or severe forms of keratoconus.
Soft Contact Lenses
Similar to spectacles, soft contact lenses may provide acceptable vision for patients with mild levels of keratoconus. However, soft contact lenses do not provide optimal vision in patients with more moderate or severe forms of keratoconus.
Specialty Contact Lenses
Patients with mild keratoconus may achieve optimal visual acuity with eyeglasses or soft contact lenses, while patients with moderate to advanced keratoconus may require a more custom-designed rigid gas permeable (RGPs), hybrid, or scleral contact lens. These lenses create a smooth surface so that when light enters the light, it is focused at a single point, providing the best visual acuity possible.
In some cases, patients wearing scleral lenses may experience additional glare, distortions, or a smearing effect of letters or objects. Keratoconus has been known to cause higher-order aberrations (HOAs), which cannot be corrected with traditional glasses or contact lenses. Patients may require scleral lenses or wavefront-guided scleral lenses (WFGSL), which can reduce or even eliminate higher-order aberrations. Scleral lenses play a pivotal role for many patients with keratoconus. These lenses are often recommended when other options, such as eyeglasses or regular contact lenses, don’t provide the desired visual acuity. At Contemporary Eye Care, we ensure our patients understand the benefits and any potential challenges associated with scleral lenses, guiding them every step of the way.
Other treatment options for keratoconus include intracorneal ring segments (ICRS), e.g. Intacs, which are small, curved plastic inserts that are placed in the cornea to flatten the bulge and improve vision. In very severe cases of keratoconus, a corneal transplant may be necessary, where the damaged cornea is replaced with a healthy one.
Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL)
If your eyes and vision have become worse over time, you may be a good candidate for corneal cross-linking. Corneal cross-linking (CXL) has been proven to slow down or halt the progression of keratoconus. While CXL is effective at stopping progression, it does not exclude the potential need for glasses or contact lenses.
Living with Keratoconus:
Living with keratoconus can be challenging, but there are coping strategies and support resources available to help.
Some tips for living with keratoconus include:
1. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan: This may include using eyeglasses or specialty contact lenses, or undergoing surgery.
2. Protect your eyes: Avoid rubbing your eyes, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV radiation, and keep your eyes lubricated to prevent dryness.
3. Stay informed: Learn as much as you can about keratoconus and its treatment options. Ask us for additional information and resources.
4. Seek support: Join a support group (e.g. Facebook groups) or online community to connect with others who are living with keratoconus. Share your experiences, ask questions, and offer support to others.
5. National Keratoconus Foundation (NKCF): NKCF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about keratoconus. Visit www.nkcf.org for more information.
Latest Research on Keratoconus:
Researchers are constantly working to improve our understanding of keratoconus and develop new treatments.
Some recent studies have focused on:
- Using gene therapy to repair the damaged collagen fibers in the cornea
- Developing new surgical techniques, such as femtosecond laser-assisted corneal surgery, to improve the accuracy and safety of corneal transplant surgery
- Studying the role of environmental factors, such as UV radiation and oxidative stress, in the development and progression of keratoconus
Keratoconus Patient Testimonial
Keratoconus is a complex eye condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s vision and quality of life. However, with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, many people with keratoconus, like our patient below, can manage their symptoms and maintain good vision!
If you are experiencing any symptoms of keratoconus, give us a call. We can recommend the best treatment options for your vision.
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