It is manifested by gradual decrease of vision, caused by progressive deformation (ectasia) of the cornea and consequently irregular astigmatism.
When the progression of the disease reaches a certain state, vision will no longer be correctable with glasses, but only with rigid or semi-rigid contact lenses.
A Crosslinking technique has been developed that allows to increase the biomechanical resistance of the cornea stopping the progression of the disease. It consists of irradiating the cornea with an ultraviolet A (UV-A) light after saturating it with Riboflavin (vitamin B2).
This technique is indicated in cases of early stage Keratoconus, in which corrected visual acuity with glasses is still good and simultaneously there is evidence of disease progression. IMO has the most advanced equipment for crosslinking, which allows the treatment to be performed with only ten minutes of irradiation, in contrast to the 30 minutes previously required.
However, at an advanced stage, when vision is no longer correctable with glasses and there is intolerance to contact lenses, it is necessary to resort to surgery.
Intra-stromal Corneal Rings
The surgery indicated in the more advanced situations, and as long as the cornea maintains its normal transparency, is the introduction of intra-stromal corneal rings (Intacs, Kerarings or Ferrara Rings). This technique consists of implanting one or more semi-circular segments of synthetic material (PMMA), in a tunnel previously created, in the thickness of the cornea.
This tunnel can be done manually, using semi-circular blades or, ideally, by the Femtosecond Laser, with which a greater accuracy is achieved in its centering and depth. For this reason, we always use laser for the surgery of the intra-stromal rings.
In cases of more advanced Keratoconus, namely when there is compromise of corneal transparency, we must resort to keratoplasty – Corneal Transplant.