November 10th is World Keratoconus Day – a day where we at Charleston Cornea & Refractive Surgery help to spread the word and create awareness! To help us do so, here are 10 quick facts about Keratoconus!
- Keratoconus, often called ‘KC’, is a progressive eye condition where the cornea thins and bulges into a cone-shape. This condition results in significant visual impairment.
- Keratoconus can affect one or both eyes and can affect each eye differently.
- Keratoconus may progress for years, it can also slow and stabilize.
- The symptoms can be difficult as they can often look like other conditions: blurred vision in one or both eyes, progressive nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism, distorted or double vision, and even glare or light sensitivity.
- It is estimated that Keratoconus occurs in 1 in every 2000 persons. It usually begins in the teenage years or within the 20s.
- Some cases show there may be a genetic connection, however other research shows there is a less than one in ten chance a blood relative of a patient will also have the condition. It also has no cultural or geographic indications.
- The cause is unknown, but some theorize it may be a combination of things, possibly genetics, hormones, oxidative stress or eye rubbing due to poorly fit contacts or allergies. However, nothing has been proven.
- Treatments range depending on the severity of symptoms and aggressiveness of the condition.
- Treatments include:
- Prescription eyeglasses
- Rigid contact lenses
- Corneal cross-linking
- Intacs corneal implants
- Corneal transplant
- O’Day has helped hundreds of patients in Charleston, Myrtle Beach and throughout South Carolina stabilize the progression of their keratoconus through a variety of treatments including cross-linking, a breakthrough in the treatment of keratoconus that allows us to avoid the need for a corneal transplant! Call us today to schedule an exam – 843-856-5275
A big win for treatment!
In 2007, Steven Holcomb was forced to retire as the top U.S. bobsled driver due to becoming legally blind from Keratoconus and the inability to wear contact lenses to correct his poor vision. However, thanks to Corneal Cross-linking, his condition was stabilized, and his cornea even improved enough to has his vision corrected. In February 27, 2010 at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, not only was Steven able to once again take his seat as the driver for the United States bobsled team, but he walked away with a Gold medal, the first for the U.S. in bobsled in 62 years!