This is an eye condition that occurs when the structure of the cornea degenerates. The cornea is the clear tissue that covers the front of the eye. It is normally round but when you have this eye condition, it slowly transforms to a conical shape. This article is very specific to a number of treatments but keratoconus has many treatments, which depending on the severity require careful thought and planning by a specialist in keratoconus.
When you are suffering from keratoconus, your goal would be to improve your vision. Fortunately, advances in technology over the years allowed the development of new treatments of this eye condition to improve one’s vision and to stop the progression of the disease. In Sydney and in Australia we are lucky enough to have many of these procedures well before other parts of the world.
Here’s a look at some of these treatments:
INTACS or Kera Rings
With the INTACS or Kera Rings treatment, tiny lenses are placed behind the iris to help transform the cornea into a rounder shape. This helps improve vision by clearing up the distortion or the transformation of the cornea into a cone shape caused by the keratoconus.
We have to admit that Intacs and Kera-Rings have on the whole been quite disappointing for most people. Some get fantastic results so it is worth while considering if contact lenses have failed even when fitted by a contact lens expert.
Holcomb C3-R Cross Linking System or Transepithelial CXL
Holcomb C3-R Cross Linking System is a non-invasive procedure that makes use of a special solution containing Riboflavin and other natural vitamins to strengthen the fibers of the cornea and reduce its cone-like or steep shape over time. The solution is activated by an ultraviolet light that you are supposed to sit under for 30 minutes.
The Holcomb C3-R procedure strengthens your thinning corneal layers by increasing collagen cross linking of the cornea. This is essential because when the cross linking between the layers are weak, your cornea will tend to thin, bulge and be deformed. The weakening will likewise distort the images you see and it will change your vision. If left untreated, the fibers will continue to weaken and break down, thereby further damaging your corneal surface and worsening your vision. An advanced condition may warrant a corneal transplant. This is precisely the condition the Holcomb C3-R procedure wants to avoid.
This procedure may be combined and done simultaneously with other keratoconus treatments. It can be performed in both eyes simultaneously. 99.03% of patients registered full stabilization within a single treatment.
Note, however, that the Holcomb C3-R procedure does not completely reverse keratoconus. What it does is it slows down or halts the progression of the eye condition. It likewise might reduce the cone-like shape of the cornea that causes the distortion in vision. The likelihood of this is small though.
This is a relatively new procedure. Long-term results are not available. Currently in Australia we continue with the original CR-3 treatment, which involves removal of the epithelium and wearing a bandage contact lens for a few days. This older procedure even though has some disadvantages has long term study and results that you can bank on. In our opinion it is much better than the Holcomb version.
Here are some reasons why Holcomb C3-R may be a good option for treating keratoconus:
• It is a quick and safe way to improve vision as it does not involve removal of the epithelium.
• The procedure is non-invasive and it is done in your doctor’s office.
• It is pain free.
• No risks are associated with the procedure save perhaps for a mild irritation that may occur a couple of hours after the procedure.
• It only takes approximately 30 minutes and it continues to improve your vision for two to three months following the procedure.
• It strengthens and stabilizes the cornea and it can even reverse the damage done to the cornea.
• PLEASE NOTE: This procedure is as the NOT as effective as the more traditional collagen crosslinking.
If you are suffering from keratoconus, you should at least consult someone that understands thus technology in order to treat your condition.
If you have keratoconus, call us on (02) 9290 1899 and make an appointment. Keratoconus is our specialty.