Keratoconus is a disease of the cornea, the window of your eye, which causes the cornea to have an unusual shape. It is a kinetic disease meaning that it continues to change shape and people who have keratoconus one of the first indications that they may have is their glasses keep changing frequently, they become intolerant or have trouble with contact lenses, soft contact lenses and they go see their optometrist or their ophthalmologist and are told they have keratoconus. It sometimes runs in families, but not all the time. Most keratoconus patients have no family history, but it is a tough problem because of its inability to be corrected with soft contacts or glasses. So when we start thinking of other ways to correct keratoconus, the most effective way to treat keratoconus is to fit people with what are called gas permeable contacts, which is a rigid contact lens, and that treatment is successful in most people. However, there is a small percentage of keratoconus patients who have either a difficult time wearing hard contact lenses or their eyes are so severely misshapen that the contact lenses are unable to be fitted or are not fitting well. Traditionally up until about two years ago those patients who failed contact lenses and had keratoconus would have to undergo what is called cornea transplant surgery, which is a pretty big deal. There is a new treatment for keratoconus called INTACS surgery and we have been doing that here at Cornea Associates now for over two years. INTACS treats the problem of keratoconus by supporting the cornea and bracing the cornea back down. So if you have keratoconus your cornea is too steep and irregularly shaped. So INTACS involves the placement of two little plastic rings inside the cornea that brace the cornea down and reshape the cornea.
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