layers-of-cornea-660x726Keratoconus is an ocular condition in which the cornea – which is normally round and dome-like develops an unusual bulge (in fact, keratoconus means “cone-shaped cornea”).  This usually occurs when the cornea itself becomes too thin, making it difficult for light to be properly processed; as a result, the person’s vision becomes blurred and distorted.  Keratoconus can be so debilitating that many people who suffer from this eye condition are unable to drive, watch television, or enjoy other normal activities.

Keratoconus typically impacts both eyes, and can usually be identified by the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Sensitivity to light, especially at night
  • Eye irritation
  • Glare or halos around lights

An ophthalmologist can diagnose keratoconus, which can usually be treated if it’s caught early enough.  Typical treatments include reading glasses, rigid contact lenses, and, in extreme cases, corneal transplants.  Now there’s a new keratoconus treatment promising to provide relief to sufferers – and it’s just been approved by the FDA to be made available at the end of 2016.

Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is a procedure where new collagen cross-links are added to cornea, which acts as support beams so that the flattened cornea can achieve its more natural, dome-like shape.  This treatment is designed to help prevent the cornea from bulging, which can drastically improve the person’s vision quality.

CXL has consistently been shown as the only treatment that halts the progression of keratoconus, making this approval a great victory for patients who are searching for permanent relief.

If you’re showing the above symptoms of keratoconus or have already been diagnosed with this ocular condition, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia.  Dr. Griffiths can provide you with keratoconus eye treatments, including corneal collagen cross-linking by the end of 2016.

NewView Eye Center also serves the greater Washington, DC areas.