The word comprises of the Greek “kerato”, i.e., cornea, and “konos”, i.e., a cone, bevel. Simply put a “conical cornea”.
Keratoconus is a disease of the cornea in which its usual shape of a spherical canopy arch conically in a particular area, which impairs vision. The disease progression depends on the patient’s age and duration. The earlier the onset, the faster the development of the disease. Keratoconus often affects both eyes, mostly asymmetrically. Keratoconus is an inherited disease and sometimes skips generations. It usually starts at puberty. If the patient is allergic, they have the urge to rub their eyes, which can speed up the development of the disease.
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At the beginning of the disease, it is usually enough to wear glasses that correct the defect.
As the disease progresses, the cornea weakens and arches. Subsequently, irregular astigmatism develops. It can no longer be corrected with glasses, so the corneal curvature disorder is corrected by the use of hard but air-permeable contact lenses. Although contact lenses partially adjust the vision, they do not prevent the disease from progressing.
The treatment used to be a complex, risky, and expensive corneal transplant. Today, we can slow down or stop the cornea’s gradual deformation by the CXL method – Corneal Cross-Linking, which strengthens the cornea. Implantation of the corneal ring usually shapes the deformed cornea and improves vision. A surgeon can combine both ways.
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