Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina causing distorted vision.
Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes and often begins during a person’s teens or early 20s.
Keratoconus Symptoms and Signs
As the cornea becomes more irregular in shape, it causes progressive nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism to develop, creating additional problems with distorted and blurred vision. Glare and light sensitivity also may occur.
Often, keratoconic patients experience changes in their eyeglass prescription.
Risk factors for oxidative damage and weakening of the cornea include a genetic predisposition, explaining why keratoconus often affects more than one member of the same family.Keratoconus also is associated with overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, excessive eye rubbing, a history of poorly fitted contact lenses and chronic eye irritation.
In the mildest form of keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help. But as the disease progresses and the cornea thins and becomes increasingly more irregular in shape, glasses and regular soft contact lens designs no longer provide adequate vision correction.
Corneal crosslinking. This procedure, also called corneal collagen cross-linking or CXL, strengthens corneal tissue to halt bulging of the eye’s surface in keratoconus.
FDA granted approval of Avedro’s KXL System corneal collagen cross-linking treatment of progressive keratoconus. The approval includes use of the pharmaceutical and medical device company’s Photrexa and Photrexa Viscous riboflavin solutions with the KXL System during the procedure. Corneal crosslinking may reduce significantly the need for corneal transplants among keratoconus patients.