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Keratoconus Symptoms

Beverly Hills, California

The first indication of KC to the patient is a blurring and distortion of vision. When diagnosed in the early stages, KC may be corrected with glasses which may require frequent changes in the astigmatism prescription.The continued thinning of the cornea usually progresses slowly for 5 to 10 years and then tends to stop. Occasionally, it is rapidly progressive. In the advanced stage, the patient may experience a sudden clouding of vision in one eye that clears over a period of weeks or months. This is called"acute hydrops" and is due to the sudden infusion of fluid into the stretched cornea. In advanced cases, superficial scars form at the apex of the corneal bulge resulting in more vision impairment.

Symptoms

The earliest symptom is subtle blurring of vision that is not correctable with glasses. (Vision is generally correctable to 20/20 with gas-permeable contact lenses.)

Signs and Tests

Keratoconus can usually be diagnosed with a slit-lamp examination of the cornea. Early cases may require corneal topography, a test that involves making a stereo image that gives a topographic map of the curvature of the cornea.

When keratoconus is advanced, the cornea may be thinner in areas. This can be measured with a painless test called pachymetry.

The progression of KC is unpredictable. It is generally slow and can stop at any stage from mild to severe. As keratoconus progresses, the cornea bulges and thins, becoming irregular.

Living With Keratoconus

People react differently to the news that they have KC. Lack of knowledge often creates fear, so learn all that you can about this condition. Ask questions and discuss your concerns with your doctor and others who have keratoconus.

From a medical standpoint, the most important thing you can do is to keep in touch with your eye care practitioner and follow his/her instructions.

From an emotional and psychological standpoint, it is important to understand the nature of keratoconus and to talk freely about it with family and friends to be sure that they understand it. If at all possible, talk with other keratoconus patients. The mutual sharing of common experiences is both rewarding and reassuring.

Perhaps there is no better therapy than sharing your experiences with others in similar circumstances. Self-help groups can be extremely helpful. Support group meetings arranged for this purpose, with the help of the National Keratoconus Foundation, are extremely helpful. For more information about support groups in your area, email the NKCF at: info@nkcf.org.

If none are available near you, another resource is Keratoconus-link (KC-link). This is a free, interactive forum for people with keratoconus - a worldwide support group! KC-link offers those with keratoconus a unique opportunity to share their "KC" experiences and concerns with others who can truly understand the daily frustrations of this condition. The camaraderie shared and support offered each other is invaluable. For more information go to: KC-Link.

Those who participate in NKCF self-help groups are, almost without exception, successful in their chosen fields despite this disorder. All have emphasized that KC should not stop you from accomplishing your goals and might even serve as a motivation. People from all walks of life have experienced this disorder, including many individuals famous in politics, the entertainment industry, medicine, and business.

Those who handle their KC problems successfully develop their own coping mechanisms. These include wearing sunglasses for driving, carrying extra contact lenses, and planning ahead for even local trips, using a map due to problems reading street signs. While it is important that you accept keratoconus as a fact in your life and realize that you have to adapt to it, it is essential for you to understand that adapting is not surrendering. You control your life, not keratoconus.

If you are interested in keratoconus but are unsure which treatment is best for you, call or email to schedule your consultation with Dr. Khanna at the Khanna Institute today.

805-230-2126





Dr. Khanna serves eye care patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Orange County, California. This site is for informational purposes about keratoconus causes and prevention only. It is not intended to be medical advice for those seeking keratoconus treatment, but to provide information about the Los Angeles, California LASIK Surgeon, Doctor Rajesh Khanna, M.D.