At Palmetto Eye & Laser Center we have specialists on staff to address corneal problems such as keratoconus and to provide medical or surgical treatment.
Keratoconus is a condition that affects the cornea (the clear outer layer of your eye). Normally a round dome shape, if the corneal tissue begins to thin, it can begin to bulge out into a cone shape. Because the shape of the cornea becomes distorted, your eyesight also becomes distorted because light will not focus properly on the retina (back of the eye). This makes normal activities such as reading, watching TV, driving or working on a computer very difficult.
Who Gets Keratoconus
Many people are surprised to learn that keratoconus usually affects people who are in their late teenage years or early 20s. This is a condition that affects 1 in 2,000 of the general population. The condition is hereditary in some cases. It may also be caused by an enzyme imbalance in the cornea that causes the corneal tissue to weaken.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
Not all patients will experience keratoconus symptoms right away. In fact, it can progress over a 10-20 year period and result in symptoms such as:
- Vision distortion
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
Luckily there are a variety of treatment options to help patients with keratoconus see more clearly. Depending on the severity of your condition our keratoconus specialists may recommend:
- Prescription glasses
- Rigid contact lenses
- Corneal cross-linking (CXL)
- Intacs® corneal implants
- Corneal transplant in severe cases
If you or a loved one is experiencing any keratoconus symptoms, schedule an eye exam with the experienced corneal doctors in Spartanburg to learn more about your treatment options.
DSAEK Corneal Transplants
Corneal transplant technology has come a long way. Today, rather than having a full corneal transplant, some patients are benefitting from Descement’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) surgeries.
Full corneal transplants require that a patient’s entire cornea be removed and replaced with a donor cornea from an eye bank. While this method is very successful for restoring vision in patients with severe corneal damage, the surgery requires sutures to keep the new cornea in place, resulting in a long recovery time and greater potential for complications.
At Palmetto Eye & Laser Center our corneal specialists also perform DSAEK corneal transplants in Spartanburg. Also known as a partial thickness corneal transplant, the surgery involves replacing only the damaged section of the back inner layer of the cornea. Healthy donor tissue from an eye bank is also used for this procedure.
Benefits of DSAEK
- Only a small incision is necessary
- Faster recovery time
- No sutures required
- Faster surgery time
- Less visual distortion
- Reduced risk of problems like dry eye
- Reduced risk of astigmatism
- Greater integrity of the corneal tissue
If you are considering having a corneal transplant, find out if a DSAEK corneal transplant might be right for you. Contact Palmetto Eye & Laser Center today to arrange an eye exam and learn more about your options for visual improvement through corneal implants. You can also learn more about the risks of DSAEK such as rejection of the new tissue, bleeding, infection and corneal swelling. Trusting your eyes to an experienced ophthalmologist will help reduce some of those risks. Our experienced corneal doctors will discuss vision restoration options for your unique situation.