At Ezekiel Eyes we spend a large portion of our day with patients who have a condition called Keratoconus.
In recognition of Keratoconus Awareness Day, we wanted to shed some light into the lives of those affected by this condition.
Keratoconus is a thinning of the central zone of the cornea, the front surface of the eye.
As a result of this thinning, the normally round shape of the cornea is distorted and a cone-like bulge develops, resulting in significant visual impairment.
In 2021, an Australian study indicated keratoconus prevalence to be 1 in 84 Australian 20-year-olds.
Correcting the visual impairment caused by keratoconus is unfortunately not as simple as obtaining a pair of spectacles.
For most people with keratoconus, the visual distortion is too great and can only be improved with the wearing of rigid contact lenses.
Rigid contact lenses will not cure Keratoconus, but they will improve vision by covering the irregular cornea with the regular focussing surface of the contact lenses.
This effect is the reason that those who experience poor fluctuating vision with spectacles or soft contacts, can achieve a significant visual improvement with rigid contact lenses.
We have had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand the marvellous difference rigid lenses can make to someone’s life.
These contact lenses can be the difference in holding a driver’s licence, being able to study or to hold down a job. They provide people with confidence, through the restoration of vision, and this visual rehabilitation goes well beyond the consulting room.
For those with keratoconus, the diagnosis and what follows can seem overwhelming.
Depending on the severity, progression and time of diagnosis, a corneal cross-linking procedure may be offered by an Ophthalmologist.
This too does not cure keratoconus but halts the progression, and a form of visual correction such as rigid contact lenses are still required.
It is important that rigid contact lenses are correctly fitted to allow even pressure across the delicate cornea.
A poor fitting contact lens can place excessive pressure on the elevated and thin cornea and has been associated with increased rates of corneal scarring.
At Ezekiel Eyes, we find great satisfaction in the fitting of rigid contact lenses for our Keratoconic patients.
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to transform someone’s life in such an impactful way.
Happy World Keratoconus Day!