Keratoconus, also known as KC, is a degenerative eye condition that affects the thickness and shape of your cornea. It is fairly common, affecting about one in 2,000 people. Dr. Jason H. Nakagawa and his team can perform specialized testing to diagnose keratoconus and recommend the appropriate treatment. We can coordinate treatment for patients in Marina Del Rey, CA, and the surrounding areas to help you reduce the symptoms of keratoconus and restore the quality of your vision.
Keratoconus affects your cornea, the clear dome-shaped front surface of your eye and focuses light. When the cornea becomes thin, it bulges outward like a cone. This affects your ability to focus, making your vision blurry or distorted.
In addition to blurred vision, keratoconus can cause:
- Redness and swelling
- Contact lenses to fit improperly
- Corneal bulging
- Swelling or scarring of the cornea
Keratoconus usually affects both eyes, and these symptoms make daily tasks such as reading and driving extremely difficult. Unfortunately, keratoconus usually becomes progressively worse with time if it is left untreated. For this reason, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you notice any kind of change in your vision.
Treating keratoconus is relatively simple in its earliest stages, but becomes more complex as the condition progresses.
What Causes Keratoconus?
The actual cause of keratoconus is still unknown. However, there are some factors that are believed to increase your risk of developing the condition:
- Genetics: Some keratoconus sufferers have reported having family members who also suffer from the disease.
- Allergies: Rubbing your eyes excessively can make keratoconus worse because it can damage your delicate corneal tissue.
Most patients with keratoconus begin to experience the symptoms in their early twenties.
In order to properly diagnose keratoconus, Dr. Nakagawa may perform a variety of tests, including:
- Fluorescein staining: Dr. Nakagawa will place a dye on your cornea to detect corneal injuries, damage, or abnormalities.
- Biomicroscopy: Using a slit-lamp, Dr. Nakagawa will look at your eye through a biomicroscope to assess the overall health of your eye.
- Corneal topography: Dr. Nakagawa can perform corneal topography to create a digital map of your cornea and identify areas where keratoconus has affected the tissue.
Your degree of keratoconus will determine the type of treatment you receive. Mild cases of keratoconus can usually be corrected with eyeglasses, while more severe cases will need more aggressive treatment such as rigid gas permeable (RGB) contact lenses, Intacs®, collagen cross-linking, or a corneal transplant. Dr. Nakagawa will coordinate your treatment with a trusted outside specialist who can decide which treatment is right for your level of keratoconus.
Learn More Today
Do not let keratoconus disrupt the quality of your vision - or your quality of life. Treating keratoconus is relatively simple in its earliest stages, but becomes more complex as the condition progresses. If you have experienced any kind of change in your vision, please call (310) 508-4348 or request a consultation online. Dr. Nakagawa can help find a solution that maintains your vision.
Dr. Jason H. Nakagawa
Dr. Nakagawa has been practicing optometry since 1994. He is a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:
- American Academy of Optometry
- American Optometric Association
- National Optometric Association
- The National Association of Patient Practitioners
- American Diabetes Association