Keratoconus is an eye disease that affects men and women of all ages and from all origins. It causes eye problems ranging from simple lowering vision to much more serious cases.
This disorder, whose causes are not yet clearly determined, is pushing ophthalmologists to make great strides to overcome it.
Techniques and treatments have recently been developed to treat this pathology.
Who is this procedure for?
- Corneal cress-linking : patients suffering from keratoconus.
- Intra-corneal rings : patients for whom corneal cross-linking didn't show results.
- Corneal cross-linking : 3 to 4 weeks.
- Intra-corneal rings : 3 weeks to few months.
- Corneal cross-linking : above 95%.
- Intra-corneal rings : 95% at an early stage of the disease.
What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus, which literally means "conical cornea" in Greek, is a deformation of the cornea. The latter gradually refines until it loses its normal spherical shape and gives way to an irregular cone shape. The disease usually appears during puberty or late adolescence, causing visual disturbances.
Keratoconus can be described as a bilateral condition. It means that even if one eye is affected before the other, they will both be affected in the end. The problems caused can range from mild astigmatism to complete corneal deformity, the only solution to which is a corneal transplant.
What are keratoconus symptoms?
The symptoms of this disease vary from person to person, but we can distinguish a few that are repeated often
- Blurred vision
- Distorted vision
- Fast decline in visual acuity
- High light sensitivity
- vision alteration
These symptoms can progress and get worse as the disease progresses. In the early stages, keratoconus causes blurred vision that resembles a foggy and distorted sensation that reflects astigmatism. This sensation is especially felt in far vision, which is a sign of myopia.
This lessening of vision is often associated with excessive sensitivity to light which causes eye irritation and also dazzle.
Due to the irregularity of the deformation of the cornea, vision is greatly distorted as the disease progresses. This results in increased astigmatism and myopia.
People who suffer from keratoconus often have to change their glasses, which can no longer correct astigmatism. There is an advanced stage where the cornea thins to a point where scarring appears and makes vision even more blurry.
What are the causes of keratoconus?
The causes of keratoconus have not yet been precisely defined. Nevertheless, doctors have several leads that could lead them to find an answer.
The main track is that of the genetic cause. The fact that the disease is present in several members of the same family prompts doctors to study this thesis. But they didn't find a specific gene that promotes the transmission of keratoconus.
Other physicians tend to follow the path of environmental factors instead. Wearing contact lenses or rubbing your eyes frequently could also be causes, according to some researchers.
As keratoconus usually appears at puberty, some doctors support the thesis of the hormonal cause. Corneal deformity can be related to other diseases such as Down syndrome, Marfan syndrome, or osteogenesis imperfecta.
How to effectively treat keratoconus in Istanbul?
To treat keratoconus, doctors have implemented a strategy based on two steps: Stabilize keratoconus and improve vision.
The stabilization of keratoconus is done through the corneal cross-linking technique. For the improvement of vision, it is done with the equipment of glasses.
If this is not successful, the patient will be fitted with contact lenses. If the last two techniques fail, the doctor will perform a corneal surgery, which remains a treatment of last resort. The latter has two options:
- Placement of intra-corneal rings for the most favorable cases.
- Making a cornea transplant for the most severe cases.
Most people with keratoconus opt for lenses. These, unlike glasses, create an interface with the tear film that helps erase most of the irregularities in the cornea.
Our partner clinics in Turkey have the most recent techniques to treat keratoconus:
- Corneal cross-linking
- The placement of intra-corneal rings
- Anterior lamellar keratoplasty
- Topography-guided excimer laser photoablation of keratoconus
- The Keraflex procedure.
Corneal cross-linking and the placement of intra-corneal rings are revolutionary techniques and in great demand. The clinics in Turkey with which we are partners have the best doctors specializing in these techniques.
Also called UVA phototherapy, corneal cross-linking is a treatment against keratoconus, the principle of which is to modify corneal collagen. It aims to stop the development of keratoconus. The surgery is done under droplet anesthesia, lasts an hour and is painless. At the end of the operation, the patient has lenses put in and can go home after a medical check-up.
The placement of intra-corneal rings
This technique is used for patients who cannot stand lenses or whose case has not improved. It's also used for patients who do not have central corneal opacity. The role of the rings is to flatten the cornea.
There are different types of rings of different shapes. Depending on the preoperative measures, it is possible to put one or two rings per eye.
There is another technique that relies on the use of the femtosecond intralase laser. It is used in corneal cross-linking as well as in the placement of corneal rings to facilitate these interventions.
In the first, it is used to create a pocket in the thickness of the cornea It avoids postoperative pain. In the second, it is used to create a tunnel which makes the operation safer.
The best ophthalmologic clinics in Turkey
Besides being a popular tourist destination, Turkey also has world-renowned hospitals and clinics.
Indeed, Turkish medicine is among the best in the world. In addition, our partner clinics in Istanbul, Ankara, or even in Antalya, have the best doctors whose reputation is international. But also, they offer reasonable prices that allow you to undergo operations at a low price.
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