Keratoconus is a warping of the cornea that progressively distorts vision. It is strongly associated with eye-rubbing.
Keratoconus is a condition affecting about 1 in 2000 people where the collagen fibres in the cornea are relatively loosely arranged and not tightly bound to one another as it would be in a healthy cornea. The result is that the fibres can slip over one another and cause a steepening (cone) of the lower half of the cornea. This leads to a reduction in vision, an increase in astigmatism and the introduction of aberrations that reduce the quality of vision. It typically starts in the late teens and early 20’s
If the keratoconus is progressing, surgical intervention is advised. This can be performed with Epi-ON or Epi-OFF cross-linking. The skin on the cornea is the epithelium and with Epi-ON cross-linking, the epithelium is not removed. This makes the procedure safer, less painful with a quicker return to normal routines.
Two basic decisions need to be made:
1) Is our aim only to stabilise the current corneal shape and vision?
2) Do we want to try and improve the vision and then stabilise it with CXL?
The cornea and vision is stabilised with CXL (Corneal Cross-Linking) or AXL (Accelerated Cross-Linking).
The vision can be improved with the following procedures combined with CXL or AXL:
1. Topography-guided PRK (SimLC = Simultaneous Laser CXL)
2. CK (Conductive Keratoplasty)
3. Intacs (Intra-corneal ring segments)
4. MyoRing (Intra-corneal ring)
Some Keratoconus procedures are subsidised by Health Funds. For more details please contact the clinic. Please note that prices include 12 months follow-up visits.