The human cornea plays a vital role in visual clarity. Several factors are necessary to focus the light that enters the eye, including perfectly arranged collagen fibrils in the middle layer of the cornea (the stroma). Corneal clarity also relies on an almost perfectly curved shape to focus the light.
Keratoconus is a condition affecting the cornea. It causes the normally thick stroma to progressively become thinner. As it becomes thinner, the curved shaped started to degrade. This can gradually affect the clarity of your vision. Keratoconus can be linked to genetics, as well as external factors such as excessive eye rubbing. It is a progressive disease and in time, keratoconus can cause the cornea to take on more of a cone shape instead of the healthy curved shape required for clear vision.
With early detection, Dr. Aaron Waite can treat cases of keratoconus with corneal crosslinking. This FDA approved treatment employs the use of riboflavin drops that react with ultraviolet light as they enter the cornea. The treatment effectively strengthens the bonds between the collagen fibrils, improving overall corneal strength. This halts the progression of keratoconus thus stopping the degradation of vision.
Corneal crosslinking is best indicted in mild to moderate cases of keratoconus. In advanced cases of keratoconus, where crosslinking will not help the cornea, Dr. Waite may advocate a treatment plan that involves Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) to replace the thinning stroma and leave the normal endothelium untouched.
If you live along the Wasatch Front and have been experiencing vision problems, you should call 801-876-6000 to schedule an appointment at Waite Vision in Lehi, Utah.