What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a progressive ectasia or thinning of the cornea, which is accompanied by an increase in the curvature of the cornea, making it irregular and steep. The internal bonds linking the different layers of the cornea are weakened, due to genetic or inflammatory conditions. It is often associated with allergy of the eye and increased eye rubbing.
How is it diagnosed?
Patients of Keratoconus usually complain of frequent change in their spectacle powers or sudden increase in cylindrical spectacle power. In early stages, it can easily be missed if the patient is not made to undergo a detailed evaluation by a Cornea Specialist. This involves doing a special scan for the patient- called Corneal Topography.
The cornea is mapped with the help of a specialized machine called Topography, which basically helps provide an idea of the contour and shape of the cornea, with highly precise point to point data on the curvature and thickness and different points on each cornea.
There are various types of Topographers and each provides different data. Dr Kareeshma did her thesis on Keratoconus for 3 years and thereafter has worked for 1.5 more years in this area. Serial Topographies can help diagnose early cases of Keratoconus, which can then be regularly monitored to check whether or not they are progressing. If they progress, then a treatment called Corneal Collagen Cross Linking (C3R/CXL) needs to be done.
Dr. Kareeshma did her thesis on Keratoconus and has worked for 3 years in this area.
Do I have to operate immediately?
Not all Keratoconus will progress. If they progress, then a procedure called Cornea Cross Linking is done. This helps stop the disease but cannot make the eyes normal.
If at the first visit, the disease is already in advanced stage, or the patient was diagnosed late, then early cross linking maybe advised. Otherwise, regular check up to document any sign of progression is done. To know more, please consult your Cornea Specialist.