Understanding Keratoconus

Katy, Texas

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
side image of an eye with keratoconous
front image of an eye with keratoconous while doing an exam

Diagnosing Keratoconus:

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.

Scleral Lenses

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.


Intacs/Corneal Transplant

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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Contemporary Eye Care is one of the best eye care center in Houston! Their staff is so friendly and welcoming, assisting me in every way they can. Doctor Kauffman is one of the best contact lenses doctors. I have had multiple cornea transplants and he is the person I go to when needing my contact lenses to be fit. I would recommend everyone to come to see him especially people who have had cornea transplants, and regular patients as well.
Dr. Stephanie Lomeli, D.D.S
Dr. Stephanie Lomeli, D.D.S
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Contemporary Eye Care located at the Co-Op Elysian for an eye exam with Dr. Matt Kauffman, and I must say it was an outstanding experience from start to finish. I would wholeheartedly give my visit a five-star rating! Dr. Matt Kauffman's patient interaction and bedside manner were truly exceptional. From the moment I stepped into the office, I was greeted with warmth and friendliness by the entire staff. Dr. Kauffman's genuine interest in my eye health and well-being was evident throughout the entire examination process. What impressed me the most was Dr. Kauffman's attention to detail. He took the time to thoroughly explain each step of the exam, ensuring that I understood everything and addressing any concerns or questions I had along the way. His expertise and knowledge were clearly evident, which gave me great confidence in his abilities as an optometrist. Moreover, Dr. Kauffman's patience was truly remarkable. He took the time to listen attentively to my concerns and provided me with personalized recommendations that were tailored to my specific needs. His dedication to providing individualized care was evident, and it made me feel valued as a patient. I highly recommend Dr. Matt Kauffman to anyone in search of a new eye doctor. His professionalism, expertise, and friendly demeanor create an environment that promotes trust and comfort. I left Contemporary Eye Care feeling well taken care of and confident in the health of my eyes. The facilities at Contemporary Eye Care were modern and well-maintained, creating a pleasant atmosphere for the visit. The staff was incredibly welcoming and helpful, further enhancing the overall experience. In conclusion, my eye exam with Dr. Matt Kauffman at Contemporary Eye Care surpassed all my expectations. If you are looking for a new eye doctor, I highly recommend visiting Contemporary Eye Care and scheduling an appointment with Dr. Kauffman. You will receive top-notch care in a friendly and professional environment.
Troy Laabs
Troy Laabs
Been seeing Dr Kauffman for almost 5 years now. My eyes have been difficult to fit with scleral lenses and Dr. Kauffman never gave up. He found a fit that works for me and my vision has been great.
Jeannuel Williams
Jeannuel Williams
My first time visiting Contemporary Eye Care. I got an eye exam. Dr. Kauffman was very detailed and took his time explaining everything to me during my exam. I got a new pair of glasses. As well as getting an old pair fixed up! Turn around time for them to be picked up was about a week! Very happy with the outcome. I think they have a great section of frames to choose from that are of quality & style. I really appreciated the awesome customer service by Iris & Stefanie up front. They were welcoming & took their time assisting me with my purchases. Looking forward to being a returning customer!
Lorena Diaz
Lorena Diaz
Great and amazing place with very friendly staff! I totally recommend!
Shanna Csikortos
Shanna Csikortos
Amazing experience for my family. The kids loved it here and so did we. Experienced and very through in our eye exam
Olaniyi Olajide
Olaniyi Olajide
Great place. Staff and Doctor are very pleasant.
James Stone
James Stone
I encourage everyone to get their eyes checked here
Khristopher Davis
Khristopher Davis
Dr. Kauffman and his team were great and professional. We will definitely be back again.