Dr André Burger

OPHTHALMOLOGIST • OFTALMOLOOG

PIETERMARITZBURG

WHAT IS KERATOCONUS?

Keratoconus is a slow, progressive eye disease in which the normally round, dome shaped cornea (the clear outer front portion of the eye) thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape.

In Keratoconus, the cornea is weaker than normal, and slowly bulges forward, to form the cone.

This causes distortion of light when it enters the eye. A defocussed image is formed on the photographic film of the eye.


Keratoconus symptoms

The earliest signs of keratoconus are blurred vision and frequent changes in eye glass prescription, or vision that cannot be corrected with glasses.

You may also experience and increase in light sensitivity, halo around lights, eye strain, headaches, eye irritation and excessive eye rubbing.

Keratoconus, especially in the early stages can be difficult to diagnose and all of the above symptoms could be associated with other eye problems.

Keratoconus Diagnosis

Keratoconus can usually be diagnosed with a slit-lamp examination by an Ophthalmologist. The classic signs of keratoconus that the doctor will see when examining your eyes include:

  • Corneal thinning.
  • Fleischer's ring (an iron coloured ring surrounding the cone).
  • Vogt's striae (stress lines caused by corneal thinning).
  • Apical scarring (scarring at the apex of the cone).
  • The curvature of the cornea is measured by keratometry and/or corneal topography.

Keratoconus Treatment:

There are four types of treatments available:

  • Contact lenses.
  • Corneal inlays or Intacs.
  • Corneal crosslinking.
  • Corneal graft procedures.

Dr. Burger will advise you which of these procedures would be the most suitable for your eye condition.