The smooth, dome-shaped, clear structure covering the front part of your eyes is the cornea. It serves as your eyes’ first line of defense against foreign materials. It also plays a key role in receiving and focusing light on your retina.
Aging and other factors may cause the protein fibers supporting your cornea to weaken. This can cause your cornea to take a cone-like shape, a condition known as keratoconus. Your trusted optometrist from the Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry explains it in detail.
Why It Happens
The protein fibers supporting your cornea help maintain its position in your eyes. They may thin as you age, however, deforming your cornea. Instead of having a spherical shape, it could become cone-like. Apart from age, heredity is also a major factor for keratoconus development.
Habitually rubbing your eyes may also lead to keratoconus. Wearing ill-fitting or non-prescribed contact lenses may cause corneal irregularities as well, which is why undergoing a comprehensive eye exam before using any medical device is important. Studies reveal that enzyme imbalances and oxidative damage are possible culprits of this condition too.
Common Signs and Symptoms
An irregularly shaped cornea, specifically one that looks like a cone, is the hallmark sign of keratoconus. This may compromise how your eyes refract light. This is why most affected individuals experience difficulties seeing objects clearly and why they suffer from frequent headaches and eye strain. Sufferers may notice increased sensitivity to glare, making it hard to drive at night. Without prompt management, you may develop corneal swelling, abrasions and scars later on.
Our Recommended Treatment
For your improved eyesight, we may suggest using scleral contact lenses. Compared with your regular ones, they have a larger diameter, allowing them to cover most of your sclera, your eyes’ white part. They act as a substitute for your damaged cornea to bend and focus light correctly.
For more information about keratoconus, call us at one of our locations, or fill out our contact form to schedule a visit. We provide premier eye care to families in Arlington and nearby Virginia communities.