Keratoconus in Nashville, TN
Want to learn more about reversing or stabilizing keratoconus? Jeffrey D. Horn, MD, of Vision for Life, offers advanced keratoconus treatment services for the residents of Nashville, Lebanon and the surrounding communities of Tennessee.
What Is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a relatively rare disorder of the eyes which results in a progressive thinning of your cornea. While there are fewer than 200,000 cases per year in the U.S., it is nevertheless a chronic condition that can last for years, or be lifelong. Also known as a corneal dystrophy, this is a non-inflammatory condition, oftentimes thought to be inherited, that affects both your eyes and that is characterized by progressive dystrophy. In keratoconus, the cornea begins to become thinner, and will gradually change shape, and this thinning of the cornea causes increasingly distorted vision and quite often blurred, and irregular vision will result. Keratoconus changes your vision in two ways. As the cornea shifts from being a spherical ball shape to becoming more of a cone shape, the smooth surface of your cornea may become slightly wavy. As your cornea continues to change shape, your vision will steadily decline. This is due to the fact that your cornea has become thinner, and as it has developed a cone-like aspect with a slightly wavy surface, your vision will tend to become more and more refracted. Progressive nearsightedness and astigmatism will often develop as your cornea becomes more misshapen, and quite frequently your eyeglasses prescription will change with every visit to the eye doctor.
What Are the Effect of Keratoconus?
For those patients with mild keratoconus, it is possible that you will not require glasses or contact lenses after receiving keratoconus treatment. Keratoconus does not typically lead to complete blindness, but unfortunately for some patients, the disease can degrade your vision to a level where you may experience difficulty leading a normal life. To address changes in your vision that can quite often result from keratoconus, patients often start out wearing glasses or traditional contact lenses, before then needing to progress to toric or astigmatism-correcting contact lenses, or even rigid gas permeable contact lenses.
What Causes Keratoconus?
The specific cause of keratoconus is still undetermined. In some research, the condition is thought to be correlated to rubbing of the eyes, although long-term contact lens use is also cited as a possible cause. Patients with a family medical history of keratoconus are quite often seen to be at a higher risk for developing this condition. To prevent keratoconus, it is recommended that you avoid rubbing your eyes, or, if you are a long-term contact lens wearer, to try wearing eyeglasses more often.
How is Keratoconus Diagnosed?
As part of your treatment, we will review your personal medical and family medical history. We will give you an eye exam, in addition to potentially conducting other tests, including refraction tests, that will be used to obtain critical diagnostic information about the shape of your cornea. Keratoconus has a tendency to affect young people, with many patients diagnosed with this condition in their late teens and early twenties, when they first noticed their vision changing. This progressive dystrophy will have a tendency to advance through about age 40, at which point the dystrophy slows down.
How is Keratoconus Treated?
Treatment will very often begin with new eyeglasses, and then after that contact lenses are recommended, to help correct the vision problems caused by keratoconus. A number of new types of gas permeable and soft contact lenses, as well as hybrid and scleral lenses, are being developed that have been shown to be tremendously efficacious. Typically as long as your contact lenses fit and give good vision then no surgical intervention is required, however, in some cases, the cornea becomes so misshapen or scarred that a contact lens will not correct the vision, and in these cases, implantable corneal ring segments can be placed in your eye to make your cornea more spherical, improving your vision dramatically.
How Much Does Keratoconus Treatment Cost in Nashville?
Your vision and medical insurance will very often cover your keratoconus treatment costs, however, we also accept cash, checks and major credit cards, including Visa®, MasterCard®, and American Express®, to help address any out-of-pocket costs, including co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurance. We also provide convenient financing options through Alphaeon™ Credit and CareCredit®.
Keratoconus treatment is essential to protecting and preserving your sight. Our ophthalmologist, Jeffrey D. Horn, MD, provides keratoconus treatment services for the residents of Nashville, Murfreesboro and the surrounding communities of Tennessee at Vision for Life. Please contact us today to set up your consultation!