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Frequently asked questions about keratoconus
Is there a cure for Keratoconus?
No, however there are new treatment options and advanced contact lenses to help minimize the impact that keratoconus can have on your quality of life.
Does keratoconus cause blindness?
With proper care and treatment, keratoconus will not lead to blindness. However, it can lead to reduced best corrected vision, meaning that your vision may not be 20/20 with your glasses or contact lenses. This can affect quality of life for many patients.
Is keratoconus an inherited disease?
Keratoconus tends to run sporadically in families but there is no direct inheritance pattern.
Are both eyes usually affected in cases of keratoconus?
Yes. Both eyes are usually affected however one is usually dramatically more affected than the other.
At what age does keratoconus usually develop?
Keratoconus usually develops in the second or third decades of life.
Does Keratoconus affect more males than females?
Yes. Studies vary but keratoconus usually affects male more than females by a ratio on 3:1.
Will glasses correct my vision with keratoconus?
In most cases glasses are very ineffective in correcting blur from keratoconus. Keratoconus results in multiple irregular prescriptions which cannot be plotted out into a classes prescription. This results in ghost images which can greatly affect vision. The best way to improve vision and quality of life with keratoconus is the use of scleral contact lenses.
Will corneal cross-linking stop the progression of keratoconus?
Yes, in most cases it will stop the progression or at least slow it down. This procedure is recommended for anyone in the early to middle stages of keratoconus.
Is corneal cross-linking covered by insurance?
About half of insurance companies are covering corneal cross-linking. Please check with your insurance provider.
Will rigid gas provable lenses stop the progression of keratoconus?
No. No contact lenses will help stop the progression of keratoconus.
Will all patients with keratoconus require a corneal transplant?
No. The vast majority of patients with keratoconus will not need a corneal transplant especially if they have had corneal cross-linking done before the scarring stage of keratoconus has occurred.
What is the best type of contact lens for keratoconus?
Scleral contact lenses are the best option to maximize vision and improve quality of life. Soft lenses will not work for keratoconus. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses will work but are often very uncomfortable and rarely fully corrected vision.
Are scleral contact lenses covered by insurance?
Generally speaking, your regular health insurance will not cover the cost of scleral contact lenses. However, certain vision insurances such as Vision Service Plan and Eyemed will often cover the cost of the scleral contact lenses if they are used for keratoconus and other related corneal diseases.
How often do I have to replace scleral contact lenses?
Is recommended scleral contact lenses are changed every year even if they appear to be working fine. The reason for annual replacement is to ensure proper eye health and reduce inflammation that can occur with old contact lenses. Also, scleral lenses tend to flatten out as they age, changing the prescription and potentially rubbing on the cornea
How do I clean scleral contact lenses?
Boston Simplus cleaning solution Followed by Clear Care disinfection system
After a corneal transplant procedure, does the donor cornea ever get rejected by the immune system?
Yes, it is not uncommon for a donor cornea to be rejected and the procedure will need to be repeated. A healthy cornea requires no blood supply as it gets all of its oxygen from the air. During the healing process of the corneal transplant, blood vessels may grow into the donor cornea and recognize that it is not original equipment. This can lead to a rejection situation.
Will a corneal transplant result in a reduced need for glasses or contact lenses?
In most cases, no, and a corneal transplant may also increased the need for glasses or contact lenses. However the patient will usually see better with correction in place.