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If you suffer from visual distortions above and beyond the refractive issues suffered by the general population, you may be one of the 1 in 2,000 people living with keratoconus. This abnormality, which typically causes the corneas to assume a cone-like shape, can create severe, progressive vision problems. But don't fret, because you can get the care you need for this condition from our eye doctors at Advanced Eyecare Center of Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.
Keratoconus occurs when the transparent cornea in the front of the eye deviates from its normal dome-like shape, often bulging outward in a cone-like configuration. This condition's causes remain a bit of a mystery, although researchers believe that thin corneal tissue, oxidative eye damage, and even habitual eye-rubbing can all contribute to its development. Keratoconus usually appears early in adulthood, progresses in severity for a couple of decades, and then slows down.
Keratoconus poses some considerable vision challenges. The misshapen corneas may cause you to experience severe myopia and/or astigmatism, along with hypersensitivity to light, double vision, and odd patterns around bright lights. To make matters worse, sometimes the changes in the cornea can cause the corneal surface to swell up or crack, making your vision even worse for a time.
An eye exam at our optometry center can easily confirm a case of keratoconus. Either of our Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach optometrists can make detailed measurements of your corneal contours and perform vision tests to determine exactly how the condition is affecting your eyesight. We can then devise the most effective means of correcting your particular vision problems.
Eyeglasses can work just as well for mild to moderate keratoconus as they do for more common refractive disorders. Your optometrist can prescribe lenses that compensate for the corneal aberrations with great accuracy. Contact lenses can also compensate for many cases of keratoconus -- but only if you choose the right lenses. Standard soft contacts, which are meant conform to the corneal surface, may not be much good at compensating for corneal deformation. Many keratoconus patients have much better luck with scleral contact lenses. These lenses, which are made of a rigid gas-permeable material, not only hold their shape -- they also rest on the sclera, outside the corneal border, not on the cornea itself. This allows scleral lenses to provide a constant, perfect dome shape that extends right over the cornea for optimal vision correction.
Keratoconus can put up some pretty significant roadblocks to clear vision -- but we can give you the tools you need to clear those hurdles, starting with an eye exam from your optometrist, Dr. Hansen or Dr. Kohan. Call Advanced Eyecare Center of Manhattan Beach and El Segundo to schedule an appointment at either optometrist on our team!