Conical cornea (Keratoconus)

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye condition that affects the cornea, which becomes deformed. The cornea is the transparent, outermost part of the eye. Normally, the cornea is round. In the case of keratoconus, the structure of the cornea weakens, and therefore it loses its roundness and becomes more conical in shape. Because of this gradual deformation, the cornea thins and visual acuity decreases. In extreme cases, the cornea may even become cloudy and tear.

Symptoms of keratoconus
  • Distorted vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Light scattering
  • Astigmatism
  • Possible nearsightedness (objects or people at a distance appear fuzzy)
  • Seeing a ‘fog’ (at an advanced stage)

Treatment of keratoconus

The diagnosis is made by carrying out various tests. The aim of the tests is, on the one hand, to correctly assess the irregularity of the cornea, and on the other hand, to carefully monitor the progression of the condition over time. The tests check what glasses prescription enable you to see the best. Moreover, the curvature of the cornea is measured and the cornea is imaged in three dimensions. Based on these tests, your eye doctor can detect any further deterioration of the condition very precisely at an early stage.

The aim of the treatment of keratoconus is twofold:

  • Optimising your visual acuity
  • Slowing or halting further deterioration
Optimising your visual acuity

In mild cases of keratoconus, vision can be improved effectively with glasses or contact lenses. For more advanced cases, special ‘scleral contact lenses’ are needed to restore visual acuity. At our eye centres, we have the expertise to measure these special contact lenses.

Slowing or halting deterioration

It has been shown that rubbing the eyes leads to further deformation of the cornea. It is essential therefore to avoid rubbing your eyes as much as possible. Your eye doctor will treat the underlying causes of itchy eyes.
In some cases, avoiding rubbing your eyes is not enough to stop the deterioration. In such situations, your eye doctor will discuss with you the possibility of a treatment involving corneal cross-linking.

What treatments do we offer?

Corneale crosslinking  is a safe, effective treatment to slow down the progress of keratoconus by strengthening the collagen fibres in your cornea. The procedure takes around half an hour and is carried out under local anaesthesia. During the operation, the outermost layer of the cornea is removed, after which the eye is treated with vitamin B2 drops and a beam of ultraviolet light is shined at your cornea. After the treatment, you need to care for your eyes with eye drops and ointment to prevent complications.

How much does treatment of keratoconus cost?

During the consultation, we will discuss in detail the total cost of a potential treatment. For an overview, please go to our fees page.