Keratoconus (also known as Pellucid) is a progressive non-inflammatory
disorder that causes a characteristic thinning and cone-like
steepening of the cornea. This steepening results in distortion
of vision, increased sensitivity to glare and light and an
associated reduction in visual acuity.
These keratoconus symptoms usually appear in the late teens
and early twenties. Keratoconus may progress for 10-20 years
and then can slow or even stabilize. Each eye can be affected
differently. This can result in a dramatic decrease in the
ability to see clearly even with corrective lenses. (Note:
as keratoconus and pellucid are the same disease process,
any reference to "keratoconus" on this site also applies to
"pellucid" as well.)
The cause of the weakening is due
to an imbalance of enzymes within the cornea itself that leads
to high levels of damaging "reactive species" chemicals. Different
types of reactive species include superoxides, hydrogen peroxide,
and nitric oxide. These substances essentially are free radicals
that cause oxidative damage to the cornea.
|Reactive species (free radicals) accumulate
||The reactive species cause weakness
||The weakness causes the cornea to herniate which
leads to keratoconus
Research suggests that patients with
keratoconus cannot clear away the normal amount of reactive
species that are normally produced. The reason for poor clearance
is that the good enzymes (Catalase and Superoxide dismutase)
are not functioning properly which leads to the toxic accumulation
of the reactive species and eventual damage in the cornea
from the buildup of reactive species.
There are some genetic reasons explaining why the good enzymes
do not function properly. Non-genetic sources can also increase
the reactive species. Such sources include ultraviolet light
sun exposure, eye rubbing, poorly fit contact lenses, and
chronic eye irritation. All these cause an increase in reactive
species (free radicals).
For these reasons, we recommend that all patients with keratoconus
protect their eyes by wearing 100% UV blocking sunglasses
with the wrap-around design. The wrap-around design minimizes
light coming in from the sides. It's also important to avoid
eye-rubbing and have a comfortable contact lens fit if contacts
are being worn.
Some doctors misadvise their patients
that "hard contact lenses hold the cornea and stop it
from progressing." Unfortunately, this is not the
case. If someone's head is expanding, wearing a baseball
cap will not stop the head from expanding.
The ONLY method to stop the
progression of Keratoconus is with corneal crosslinking treatment.
come to us from all over the United States and from many other
countries to have Dr. Brian improve their lives with Intacs®,
and CK. Please click below to listen to patients
share in their own words how the process was for them and
the ways their lives have been changed.
Keratoconus is the thinning
and bulging of the cornea. Keratoconus
treatments include Intacs®,
crosslinking, and if keratoconus
symptoms progresses to a serious level, corneal transplantation.
Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler is a keratoconus
expert in evaluation and treatment.
Copyright© Advanced Vision
Education, LLC., 2012
This website is designed to provide general information
about vision, vision care and vision correction. It is
not intended to provide medical advice. If you suspect
that you have a vision problem or a condition that requires
attention, consult an eyecare professional for advice
on the treatment of your own specific condition and for
your own particular needs.