Keratoconus & Optometry with Plaza Vision Center in Dallas, TX
At Plaza Vision Center in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Clarke Newman is one of the nation’s leading experts in caring for patients with keratoconus. We strive to manage this condition comprehensively and help the people in our community see the world with clearer, sharper vision. As an eye doctor in Dallas, we at Plaza Vision Center have dealt with this condition and its treatment and can answer any questions you may have.
What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus – also known as conical cornea – is a condition in which the cornea thins and bulges out in an irregular, cone-like shape. The cornea is the transparent tissue on the front of the eye that controls and focuses light entering the eye. It’s necessary for it to retain its optimal dome-like shape for your vision to be clear and allow your eyes to properly adjust to the light of an area.
Keratoconus is not as rare as once thought. There are almost 1,000,000 Americans affected by keratoconus. Symptoms of this condition include:
- Blurred, doubled, or distorted vision
- Night blindness
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Light sensitivity
- Visually debilitating scars in the cornea In extreme cases, a significant visual impairment that may specialty contact lenses or require surgery.
The good news is Keratoconus is treatable with a medical diagnosis made by an optometrist. The use of glasses in milder forms of the condition, soft contact lenses, corneal contact lenses, hybrid contact lenses, scleral contact lenses, corneal cross-linking, and intra-stromal corneal ring segment implantation, and corneal transplantation can all be sued to treat Keratoconus.
In mild and early cases of the condition, glasses are often times the best option. Dr. Newman at Plaza Vision Center in Dallas, TX is an expert at knowing when to use glasses and when to move on to contact lenses.
There are several soft lens designs for keratoconus that work well in many patients. Dr. Clarke Newman will explore that option with you.
Corneal GP Lenses
Corneal gas permeable, or “GP” lenses are still a good option for many keratoconus patients. Sometimes, a GP lens is placed on top of a soft lens in a “piggyback” fashion to improve centration and comfort.
Hybrid Contact Lenses
A hybrid lens is a lens that has a GP center and a soft lens surround that can improve comfort in keratoconus
Scleral GP Lenses
A scleral GP contact lens is larger than a corneal GP lens. It is an ocular surface prosthesis that rests, or “lands” on the white of the eye – sclera – and spans the full corneal surface. A scleral GP lens provides a smooth optical surface to improve the vision issues caused by Keratoconus. Moreover, the gap between your natural cornea and the back of the lens acts as a reservoir for fluid that adds comfort to their wear.
Corneal Crosslinking with Vitamin B2
One of the early surgical techniques used to prevent progression is to use Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and ultraviolet light to cause a reaction that “crosslinks” or glues the layers of the cornea together. This bonding stiffens the cornea and makes it resistant to deforming. Cross-linking is now the standard of care in arresting the progression of early keratoconus patients.
Intrastromal Corneal Ring Segment (ICRS) Implantation
A surgeon will place tiny pieces of plastic inside small channels created in the middle layers of the cornea to improve the best-corrected vision. The minimally invasive surgery is outpatient and typically takes 15 minutes to complete. You can expect the doctor to place anesthetic eye drops into your eyes and give you a light oral sedative. ICRS can be highly effective in relieving mild to moderate vision impairment in Keratoconus.
Sometimes, Keratoconus progresses to a point where part or all of the cornea must be removed and replaced with a donor cornea. Dr. Clarke Newman at Plaza Vision Center in Dallas, TX is an expert at managing when a transplant is necessary, what type of transplant is needed, and managing your eyes and your vision after a layered or complete corneal transplant has been performed.