Enjoy Life’s Simple Joys Even With Keratoconus

Enjoy life’s simple joys even with keratoconus

“I have Keratoconus and will Never be Able to Fully Enjoy Life”

I hear this often from patients diagnosed with Keratoconus. You may find it challenging to watch television and read the fast food board menu or you may find yourself zooming in on your phone, notes, and computer screen. You may not see your face or your loved ones’ faces well enough. Though these limitations are initially true, Keratoconus treatment will allow you to have your simple joys back and enjoy your life to the fullest. Let me tell you a story.

My Patients With Keratoconus

I recently had 2 patients who waited for a long time to be fitted with contact lenses. One of them, out of fear of being disappointed that the lenses would not work, while the other one did not know that there are specialized custom lenses that can improve the vision of a keratoconus patient 

Keratoconus before was called hyperkeratosis or conically formed cornea. The cornea, which is the transparent outer portion of your eye, is responsible for 65-75% of the refraction of light as it enters the eye and focuses on the retina. To have a clear vision, the cornea must be transparent, smooth, and regular. With keratoconus, the irregularity causes the light to scatter, causing patients to experience glare and doubling images. Luckily, the appropriate contact lens artificially serves as the new smooth refracting surface, allowing light to focus more on your retina. This creates a clearer vision. 

What are your goals?

Going back to my 2 patients, I asked them about their goals before lens fitting. The 50-year-old patient said, “I want to watch television.” ( I learned that they bought a gigantic tv screen because she cannot see well), while the 26-year-old’s goal is to study abroad, drive and travel. I was excited to bring change, to allow them to do more, and to achieve what they wanted.

Because both had moderate to advanced keratoconus, I fitted them with scleral contact lenses. I asked them to bow down and hold their lids wide as I put the lens in. As they moved their head back straight and realized that they can finally see, both were in tears. They can see the poster on our wall; they can see what’s written on the box of gloves I have across the room. Holding back my tears, all I could say was, “why did you hesitate for so long?” They then shared their initial fears and anxiety. The 26-year-old patient was elated and said this would definitely open new opportunities for her.

I am sure there are a lot of similar stories. Many keratoconus patients resigned to the fact that they would no longer be able to live a normal life and enjoy the simple joys life brings, because of their poor vision. Some may go on through life not knowing that contact lenses can help them, while some knew about contact lenses but did not make a move as they did not expect how drastically their vision could be improved.

Keratoconus treatment is life-changing

1. Steph Curry also has keratoconus, but his condition didn’t stop him to become one of the NBA’s great players.

2. Keratoconus patients CAN still have good vision. 

3. Keratoconus treatment comes in multiple forms.  Depending on the condition, glasses, and contact lenses can be fitted for keratoconus, more details are below.

There are different ways to improve your vision. 

1. Glasses. For very mild cases, glasses.can still help improve your vision. 

We have patients with mild keratoconus who can see 20/30 with glasses. 

 2. Contact Lenses. 

Toric contact Lens. For forme fruste to mild cases, vision can still be improved. 

Customized soft contact lenses. Unlike conventional soft lenses, these are thicker and can mask some corneal irregularity. 

Gas Permeable Lenses (small diameter). Rigid material which artificially acts as the new corneal shape. 

Scleral Contact Lenses (large diameter gas permeable lens)

These are in a rigid gas-permeable material that artificially acts as the new corneal shape. We fit your cornea and the white portion of the eye (sclera) where the lens lands. So fitting may take more time.  

However, before contact lens fitting, it is imperative to have your cross-linking done, especially if your age is below 30s. Keratoconus usually stabilizes in the 4th decade of life as our body has a physiological cross-linking process. Cross-linking enables corneal fibers to be stronger and so stabilizes the condition.

Patience and perseverance is needed to walk on the Keratocunus treatment journey. As long as you are determined, we can help improve your vision.  You can enjoy life’s simple joys even with keratoconus. Be brave and take that first step. For more information on how we can help, please contact us at 09215452389 or email us at goldheartoptical@gmail.com.

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