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Understanding Keratoconus and the Role of Scleral Lenses

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What is Keratoconus?

Kerataconus is a condition that affects the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. Although it might sound intimidating, understanding keratoconus and its available treatments can help you or someone you know find proper treatment and maintain clear vision.

At Eye World, we help patients with keratoconus achieve clear, comfortable, and healthy vision using scleral contact lenses. Contact us to schedule your appointment if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a corneal condition.

Keratoconus is an eye condition where the cornea, which is normally round and dome-shaped, becomes thin and develops a cone-like bulge. This irregular shape affects the cornea's ability to properly focus light onto the retina, resulting in blurry and distorted vision.

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Causes of Keratoconus

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While the exact cause of keratoconus is still not fully understood, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If you have a family history of keratoconus, you may be at a higher risk of developing the condition. Frequent eye rubbing, chronic eye irritation, and certain underlying conditions, such as allergies, can also contribute to its development.


Symptoms of Keratoconus

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Keratoconus typically starts during the teenage years and gradually progresses over time. The following symptoms may indicate the presence of keratoconus:

  • Blurred or distorted vision: Objects may appear distorted, and it can become increasingly difficult to see clearly even with corrective lenses.
  • Increased sensitivity to light: Bright lights may cause discomfort and glare.
  • Halos and ghosting: Seeing halos or ghosting around lights, especially at night.
  • Eye strain and fatigue: Eyes may feel tired or strained, especially after focusing on objects for extended periods.

Treatment Options for Keratoconus

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Several treatment and corrective options are available for keratoconus. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the individual's specific needs. The options include:

  • Glasses or contact lenses: In the early stages, regular glasses or soft contact lenses may be sufficient to correct vision. However, as the condition progresses, specialized lenses become necessary.
  • Hybrid lenses: Hybrid lenses combine the features of rigid and soft lenses. They have a rigid center for clear vision and a soft outer ring for increased comfort.
  • Corneal cross-linking (CXL): This treatment aims to strengthen the cornea using a combination of riboflavin eye drops and ultraviolet light. CXL can help slow down the progression of keratoconus.
  • Scleral lenses: Scleral lenses are becoming increasingly popular for managing keratoconus due to their unique design, comfort, and optical clarity.

Scleral Lenses: A Promising Solution at Eye World

Scleral lenses are large, rigid lenses that vault over the cornea, resting on the sclera (the white part of the eye). Unlike traditional contact lenses, which sit directly on the cornea, scleral lenses create a tear-filled space between the lens and the cornea. This reservoir of fluid acts as a protective barrier, keeping the cornea hydrated and providing a smooth optical surface for improved vision.

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How Do Scleral Lenses Work?

Diagram explaining Keratoconus

Diagram explaining Keratoconus

When a person with keratoconus wears scleral lenses, the lens creates a uniform surface over the irregular cornea. This helps to reduce distortions and provide clearer vision. The liquid reservoir also moisturizes the cornea, reducing dryness and discomfort. In fact, some studies have found that patients with keratoconus who consistently wear scleral lenses have a much lower chance of needing a corneal transplant. This is due largely to the fact that scleral lenses protect the cornea and shield it from irritation due to blinking and other factors.

Scleral lenses are custom-made for each individual's eye shape and condition. They are highly durable and can usually be worn for longer periods without discomfort.

Effective Keratoconus Treatment at Eye World

Living with keratoconus can be challenging, but with the right understanding and treatment, individuals can achieve improved vision and a better quality of life. While various treatment options exist, scleral lenses have gained recognition for their ability to address the unique needs of those with keratoconus.

If you suspect you may have keratoconus or know someone who does, consult an eye care professional at Eye World who can guide you through the available treatment options, including the potential benefits of scleral lenses. Remember, early detection and intervention are key to managing this condition effectively.


Keratoconus FAQs

Can keratoconus be prevented?

Currently, there is no known way to prevent keratoconus. However, avoiding excessive eye rubbing and taking steps to maintain good overall eye health may help reduce the risk of progression.

Can scleral lenses be uncomfortable to wear?

While it may take some time to adjust to wearing scleral lenses, they are designed for comfort and improved vision. The liquid reservoir between the lens and the cornea helps keep the eyes hydrated, reducing discomfort often associated with other types of lenses.

Patient Reviews
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1271 Reviews
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- May. 10, 2024
Doctor makes you feel comfortable, and the staff extra friendly and very helpful.
- Mar. 12, 2024
After more than 3 years of trying to get my insurance company to add them to their plan, I can now g... o back to Dr McMahon. No complaints. Great doctor. Great staff. Friendly. Nothing bad to say. I can finally now go someplace (besides Visionworks) that has a very good selection & if expensive, my insurance covers a big chunk so if I pay highly, that's fine since I have to wear them all the time.
- Feb. 19, 2024
Very professional, and friendly.
- Jan. 26, 2024
I went there for my first appt today, and it was amazing. The Dr. the front office staff, Adam an... d Dey, were all fantastic, friendly and made me feel like so welcome.
- Dec. 19, 2023
Appointments are on time every time. Staff is cordial, helpful no fuss no muss from the doc.
- Dec. 10, 2023
Wow, what amazing service! Dr. McMahon and his staff are incredibly helpful and very professional. ... I am extremely near sighted, and wear mono contact lenses, so when my former optometrist retired from Envision Optics, they told me that they no longer could care for me as a patient. I was fortunate enough to find that Eye World specializes in complex prescriptions, and they accepted my insurance. I’ll most certainly will be bringing my daughter and husband here for their eye exams. Recommended! 5/5.
- Oct. 06, 2023
Great place to get your eye exam.
- Sep. 26, 2023
Friendly staff and professional doctor
- Aug. 14, 2023
Good doctor and staff very pleased.
- Aug. 10, 2023
All of the staff were helpful and pleasant No complaints
- Jul. 31, 2023
Have been going there for years! Always a great experience with amazing service! Also a great select... ion of quality glasses and contacts. Highly recommend
- Jul. 11, 2023
Excellent Service
- Jul. 04, 2023
Excellent, I go annually and each time my experience has been like this. Thank you very much for you... r service and kindness
- Jul. 02, 2023
I’ve always had good and positive visits at Eye World. Dr. McMahon is always patient with me and h... is professionalism always makes go back. The staff are always helpful and polite.
- Jul. 01, 2023
The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Adam is always very friendly and professional, he defi... nitely makes you feel at ease and like a “regular.” Dr. McMahon is greet and takes time to answer questions and treat you like a patient not just a number. Great place to get your eyes checked. I’ve been going there for at least 10 years and I love it!
- Jun. 29, 2023
Great care
- Jun. 26, 2023
Eye exam and glasses all in one swoop! Everyone in the office is nice and treat customers profession... ally.
- Jun. 24, 2023
Everyone is very nice and helpful.
- Jun. 23, 2023
Great service. Great staff, they are very friendly and helpful. They just want to make everyone see ... better and are willing to help you make it happen.
- Jun. 23, 2023
I’ve been going to Dr. McMahon for years and they are always on top of things. The staff is always... helpful and courteous!! There’s no reason I will ever go somewhere else.

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Your Keratoconus Treatment Specialist in East El Paso

Our optometry practice in East El Paso

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Clear Vision, Bright Future

Navigating Keratoconus Together

(915) 590-9977