In keratoconus, there is thinning of the cornea which later bulges out. It gradually acquires the shape of a cone.
The patient usually present with blurry vision which gradually worsens without treatment. There is increased sensitivity to light and glare at night which causes difficulty in driving. There may be frequent a change of glasses. Patient may have recurrent episodes of sudden cloudy and decreased vision (ACUTE HYDROPS)
The patient need to see an ophthalmologist at the earliest. A detailed ocular examination with refraction and corneal imaging is performed.
Initial treatment comprises of prescribing contact lenses especially rigid contact lenses and regular follow up.
In more advanced cases, a technique of COLLAGEN CROSS LINKING (C3R) is performed. In this, ultraviolet light and a photosensitizer is used to strengthen the covalent bonds in the cornea. This reinforces the weak cornea and halts the progression of the disease. This procedure is done by giving anesthetic drops and is usually completed within 1 hour. Thereafter, bandage contact lens is applied. Since, it is an OPD procedure, patient is then sent home. The treated eye experiences some pain for 3 to 5 days. It takes usually 1 week to recover, though it may be prolonged in some cases.