Happy Man Wearing Glasses

The cornea is your eye’s first line of defense. It is the dome-shaped, transparent, protective barrier at the front of the eye that provides protection against foreign invaders, including pathogens, dirt, and other potentially detrimental things. As the window into the rest of the eye, the cornea also helps focus incoming light to allow good vision.

Yet the cornea may become physically abnormal, changing its shape and thickness, and bulging outward to gain a cone-like appearance called keratoconus. As with any eye condition, early detection and treatment can vastly improve patient outcomes.

And you can enjoy long-lasting relief by contacting board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Fred Mattioli or a member of our team. Those near the Woodlands, Sugar Land, River Oaks, and West University are welcome to see us at Mattioli Vision Professionals in Houston, TX.

How does keratoconus affect your cornea, vision, and overall eye health?

The corneal tissue is nice and strong to perform its essential guardianship duties, but sometimes this tissue weakens. This weakening may be caused by an imbalance of certain enzymes. As the cornea loses its integrity, it begins to bulge out, resulting in keratoconus. And while there isn’t a single underlying cause, there are some definite risk factors. The most important cause of keratoconus is pressure on the eyes, especially eye rubbing for any reason. Allergies, dry eyes, and bad habits can lead to eye rubbing. Even sleeping with pressure on the eyes from the pillow can contribute. Genetics may also play a role. 

Keratoconus affects 1 in 2,000 individuals. And, unlike other age-affected ocular disorders, this one begins at the other end of the spectrum, appearing during puberty. Both eyes are affected, but one may be more involved than the other. Less severe cases need to be followed closely, and glasses or contacts can help the vision, but will not stop any progression. Fortunately, with proper testing, the disorder can be detected early and with treatment it can be stopped from worsening.

What does “keratoconus vision” look like?

Your best bet is to detect keratoconus as early as possible so that we can offer the most comprehensive, well-planned course of action based on your unique status and needs. Therefore, it’s vital to be on the lookout for the symptoms of “keratoconus vision:”

  • A slight blurring of your vision early on, and significantly poor vision later
  • Vision that progressively grows poorer
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Increased light sensitivity, especially to bright lights
  • The appearance of glares or halos around lights
  • Eye irritation, pain, and associated headaches

Though much about this disorder remains mysterious, our optical experts at Mattioli Vision Professionals offer various solutions. One proven procedure is known as corneal cross-linking, which begins with an application of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) onto the corneal surface. We then apply UV light to the cornea to strengthen the eye by creating anchor points for the collagen fibers that give the cornea robustness and stability. It’s like cross-fit for your eye!

Reach out today and regain visual clarity

Keratoconus may be a more obscure ocular disorder, but it’s no less debilitating to those it afflicts. It’s impossible to predict its progression, but ignoring the issue is never a wise choice.

So, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or have any concerns about your ocular welfare, contact us at Mattioli Vision Professionals. We also welcome residents of the Woodlands, Sugar Land, River Oaks, and West University to visit our practice and consult with Dr. Fred Mattioli in Houston, TX.