What is Keratoconus and how is it Treated?

Ophthalmologist & LASIK Surgeon Serving Chicago, Lombard & Naperville areas of Illinois

Posted: November 23, 2016

Downers Grove keratoconus corneal cross-linkingVision problems are very common. According to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75 percent of adults in the United States use some sort of vision correction like glasses or contact lenses. However, not all vision problems can be addressed using these methods. This is often the case for patients that suffer from moderate to severe keratoconus. But what, exactly, is keratoconus and how is it treated?

Keratoconus is a condition that occurs when the cornea, the clear front part of your eye that focuses light to the retina, is not strong enough to hold its round shape. Instead, it bulges outward like a cone due to weakened collagen fibers within the cornea. Over time, keratoconus can distort the shape of your cornea, cause corneal scarring and corneal swelling. These abnormalities can in turn provoke significant changes in your sight.

Patients with keratoconus report having various vision problems, including:

  • Sudden vision changes in one eye
  • Double vision when looking with one eye
  • Objects both near and far look distorted
  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Bright lights appear to have halos around them
  • Streaking lights
  • Seeing triple ghost images

Fortunately, Dr. Richard B. Foulkes offers patients that suffer from keratoconus several different treatment options, including Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL). Corneal Cross-Linking is a new, state-of-the-art treatment that includes the application of riboflavin and ultraviolet light to your eyes. This procedure strengthens the collagen fibers within your cornea to help prevent your vision from deteriorating any further, possibly even reversing the effects of keratoconus altogether.

To fully determine if CXL is right for you, Dr. Foulkes will meet with you in person to discuss your eye care goals and needs. During your initial consultation and comprehensive eye exam, he will measure the thickness and shape of your cornea to develop your unique treatment plan.

If you are in the Downers Grove area and would like to discuss your keratoconus treatment options, give our office a call at 630-724-1400 to schedule your initial consultation.