Eye Problems – Keratoconus
Keratoconus is fairly common in NZ. Keratoconus is an eye disease that affects the cornea causing visual distortions. Common symptoms are ghosting, multiple images, glare, halos, starbursts around lights and blurred vision.
A normal, healthy cornea holds its round shape. However, sometimes the cornea becomes structurally weakened and loses its shape. Instead of a dome, it becomes cone-shaped, preventing clear vision. The images entering through the irregular keratoconus affected cornea create distortion and blurring.
Causes Of Keratoconus
The cause of keratoconus is unclear. Some researchers believe keratoconus may be hereditary and may also affect those with allergies more often.
If you do develop keratoconus, there are many treatment options available. The first symptoms of keratoconus are blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. Soft contact lenses or eyeglasses can correct the mild myopia, making you less short sighted. However, the keratoconus may progress to a point where prescription glasses cannot correct your vision.
Treatment – Contact Lenses
Your optometrist can use rigid gas permeable contact lenses to correct and control the myopia caused by keratoconus. The rigid lens masks the underlying irregular cornea and functions as the new refractive surface of the eye, with the tear film filling in the space between the back of the contact lens and the front of the eye. The smooth surface of the contact lenses and the tear film layer between the lens and the keratoconus affected cornea allow a clear image to enter the eye.
Whether your optometrist advises you to wear soft or rigid contact lenses the best lens is the one that fits your eye, corrects your vision and is comfortable to wear. The optometrists at John O’Connor are experienced and can be relied upon to select the best lens for your eye. They always weigh the needs of each individual patient carefully in order to find the lens that offers the best combination of visual acuity, comfort and corneal health.
To test for keratoconus, your Auckland optometrist will check for distorted or blurred vision. An examination called corneal topography using computerized instruments to create a map of the cornea can also be performed. This is an advanced technology and offers the most complete view of your cornea.
Contact Lens Subsidy
You may be eligible for the government contact lens subsidy scheme if you suffer from high myopia (short sighted), high hyperopia (long sighted), keratoconus and also anisometropia (large difference in prescription between the eyes). The subsidy covers the cost for your eye examination, contact lens fitting and contact lenses themselves. Our optometrists will be able to advise if you are eligible.
Regular eye examinations are vital. They ensure your eye doctor has a chance to detect any conditions like keratoconus before they become a bigger problem. Once a year eye health check-ups are an important part of maintaining good vision over your lifetime. Full eye exams with our experienced optometrists start from $65 and you can get an eye test at either our Newmarket or Henderson optometry practice. Call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to book an appointment with an optometrist.
We deliver peace of mind about the way you see the world, your sight.
We offer high quality eyecare and friendly service at our optometry practices in Newmarket and Henderson. For your convenience both stores are open 6 days a week.