New York Eye Doctors Aim to Make Treatment More Accessible and Effective.
New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/09/2017 -- The term "keratoconus" is one which few people know about. For those who experience it firsthand, it can be a difficult condition to deal with. Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick and Associates are the premiere keratoconus experts in the Long Island and Manhattan areas and have been focusing on specialty contact lenses for over 55 years.
Normally the cornea maintains a curved, dome-like shape. This allows the cornea to bend light onto the back of the eye, in such a way that it creates a clear image to send to the brain where it is interpreted. Keratoconus is an eye condition that warps and thins the cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye, into a cone-like bulge. When the cornea takes on a more conical shape, the light entering the eye is scattered,sending it to several different points on the retina. This can cause blurring of vision,distortion of vision, increased sensitivity to light, glare and mild eye irritation.
Scientists are not sure of the exact causes of a person developing keratoconus. However, scientists are able to infer a few things from studies conducted on the subject. First, puberty is generally when keratoconus begins to emerge, beginning with mild astigmatism and myopia, progressing quite slowly, worsening over the course of roughly 10 or 20 years, and then ceasing abruptly. Studies also seem to indicate that roughly 10% of all people who develop keratoconus have a previous family history of the condition, suggesting a genetic link. Excessive eye rubbing and other similar eye injuries, as well as certain eye diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity, and systemic diseases such as down syndrome also seem to be linked to the development of keratoconus.
A routine eye exam can often provide the initial diagnosis of keratoconus, with tests helping to determine the exact shape of the cornea. Slit-lamp examination is one of the key components in diagnosing keratoconus. The slit lamp is a low power microsccope which directs a vertical beam of light onto your eye, to evaluate the shape of your cornea. Other methods, such as optical coherence tomography and corneal topography, may also be used to create a digital map of your cornea's surface and measure the shape and thickness of the cornea.
The signs and severity of symptoms guides the treatment and management plan. In the beginning, when the cornea is still roughly dome-shaped, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses are likely to still be effective for vision correction. However, as the condition progresses, glasses and soft lenses become less and less effective, and rigid, scleral or hybrid contact lenses become the best way to ensure that light entering the eye is refracted properly for optimal vision. A procedure called corneal crosslinking is often advised to prevent progression of the disease in the early stages and in younger patients. Crosslinking is performed by a corneal surgeon who applies a solution of riboflavin to the surface of the eye while exposing it to a special kind of ultraviolet light. This strengthens the bonds in the cornea and prevents it from further thinning and distortion.
At the most severe level, even rigid and hybrid contact lenses may become less effective. In about 10 to 20 percent of cases, good vision is impossible by any other means besides a corneal transplant. In a corneal transplant, a corneal surgeon removes the diseased cornea and replaces it with a healthy donor cornea. Corneal transplants have evolved into safe and effective procedures, but are still reserved for cases when the cornea is too scarred to achieve vision by less invasive means.
For questions and more information, contact Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick and Associates at 212-355-5145, or visit their website at http://www.eyewise.com