Keratoconus diagnosis and management plans

Keratoconus is an eye condition where the cornea, the front surface of the eye, progressively becomes thinned and distorted. This leads to the vision becoming more short-sighted as the normally smooth dome-shaped cornea becomes irregular and cone shaped.

Symptoms and signs of Keratoconus

Keratoconus typically begins in adolescent years and affects both men and women. It may be present in one eye initially but often affects both eyes.

The main symptom is distorted and blurred vision but signs of progressive near-sightedness, irregular astigmatism and glare and light sensitivity are also indicators.

Diagnosis of Keratoconus

An initial examination is carried out by the Optometrist using digitalised corneal topography to take a three dimensional map of the corneal surface and pachymetry to measure the corneal thickness. Corneal mapping technology is a very important diagnostic tool in the diagnosis and management of keratoconus as it gives a detailed map of the corneal curvature that a slit lamp examination cannot give. It also has a greater sensitivity as a diagnostic tool in the absence of any clinical signs from slit lamp examination.

With this data the Optometrist is able to custom design soft and rigid gas permeable contact lenses with precise curvature changes to correct the distortion in vision experienced with keratoconus.

Correction of Keratoconus

In the early stages of keratoconus the use of glasses can normally correct the blur and distortion, however as the condition develops clear vision can only be achieved by the use of specialist contact lenses.

The Optometrist will devise a keratoconus management plan specifically tailored to your individual requirements. The management plan normally progresses through the following stages:

  • Wearing glasses (for mild keratoconus)
  • Wearing soft or gas permeable contact lenses
  • Wearing bespoke soft or gas permeable contact lenses

If you require contact lenses, the Optometrist will take you through the designing and fitting process. This stage may require several visits to obtain your optimum vision correction and comfort as the contact lenses may need to be individually custom designed.

We are experienced at fitting a large range of different contact lenses for keratoconus including SynergEyes, Rose K and Kerasoft IC and are registered with the UK Keratoconus Self Help and Support Association.