What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a condition that causes the cornea to thin and bulge out like a cone, which makes it difficult for the eyes to focus light. Patients experience blurry and distorted vision, which can make reading and driving difficult.
Causes of Keratoconus
The cause of keratoconus is often unknown, but it is often genetic. Eye allergies, eye rubbing, and certain connective tissue disorders appear to be associated. Patients are often diagnosed in their teens or 20s.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
Early symptoms include mild blurring or distortion of vision. Patients may notice that straight lines appear bent or wavy. Light sensitivity and eye redness may also be detected. As the condition progresses over the course of years, patients may notice that they have difficulty wearing contact lenses, because the shape of the eye has changed, and the lenses no longer fit. You may also notice increased nearsightedness or astigmatism that require your prescription to be updated frequently.
Diagnosis of Keratoconus
Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and medical history. Keratoconus will be diagnosed after an exam that may include a slit-lamp exam, eye refraction test, a keratometry test, and computerized corneal mapping to create detailed images of the cornea that can often detect keratoconus prior to its visibility during a slit-lamp exam.
Treatment of Keratoconus
Mild and moderate keratoconus can be treated with contacts or glasses. Corneal collagen cross-linking might be used to slow the progression. This innovative treatment option saturates the cornea with riboflavin eyedrops and applies ultraviolet light. Together they stiffen the cornea to prevent further shape changes. If the cornea stabilizes, this will likely be a long-term treatment. For patients with more advanced scarring, cornea transplant surgery may be the best treatment approach. The procedure is safe and highly effective.
If you are pregnant, you should discuss your delivery plan with both your obstetrician and ophthalmologist. In rare cases, an elective Caesarean section may be recommended to avoid intraocular pressure.
What you can expect at the Cizik Eye Clinic
The Cizik Eye Clinic opened in 2007 and is housed in Memorial Hermann Plaza at 6400 Fannin Street. It includes dozens of exam areas, multiple operating rooms, and laser suites equipped with the most sophisticated equipment available for patient care.
People travel from across the country and the world for treatment at the Cizik Eye Clinic, in part because our affiliation with the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth provides unmatched resources and expertise. Our friendly staff works diligently to make your visit pleasant and efficient, as we maximize patient flow through everything from routine eye exams to the most advanced eye surgeries.
Our physicians are faculty members at McGovern Medical School and are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology or are board eligible. At the Cizik Eye Clinic, we understand that the eye is a small part of a whole patient who deserves top-notch, comprehensive care in a cutting-edge facility.
At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.