November 15th, 2017
Dealing with Keratoconus on a daily basis can be a challenge for many. The conditions even effects family members and friends. As the condition progresses it becomes difficult to do the daily activities you often enjoyed. At times patients living with the challenge of Keratoconus may experience Ocular migraines, which can cause some temporary vision symptoms.
People with ocular migraines can have a variety of symptoms.
Symptoms of Ocular Migraine May Include:
u Small enlarging blind spot in central vision lasting 20-30 minutes
u Bright Flashing or Flickering lights in central vision lasting 20-30 minutes
u Wavy or Zig-Zag Lines surrounding the central blind spot lasting 20-30 minutes
u Enlarging of the above moving across the field of vision lasting 20-30 minutes
However there are other conditions that effect those who suffer from Keratoconus including:
u Eye pain
u Sensitivity to light
u Impaired night vision
These additional symptoms make it difficult to enjoy daily activities, or even enjoy time with your children. Headaches in particular can become a strain on your physical and emotional well being.
Below are some additional things to help you cope with your headaches daily:
Headaches can often be caused by eye strain or sensitivity to light. Doing a few of the below things can help you get some relief from headaches and eye pain caused by Keratoconus:
Wearing sunglasses all year round: Sunglasses with 400 UV protection can help protect your sensitive eyes, and reduce the amount of strain you are putting on your eyes causing eye pain. Additionally it gives great protection from the sun.
Dry Eye Drops: These are just a temporary fix they can give you relief from eye pain and headaches. Dry eyes is often a symptom of Keratoconus and can bother you even when you don’t know it. Asking your eye care professional about dry eye and what they recommend in the way of drops can help reduce your eye pain.
Palming: Palming is a relaxation exercise that can give additional relaxation to your eyes individually or together. Palming consists of laying on the floor and covering both eyes with the palms of the hands for 10-15 minute intervals throughout the day.
For more information on ocular migraines visit: http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/ocular-migraine.htm
October 11th, 2017
What is Keratoconus?
For those of you who don’t know Keratoconus is a progressive condition created by the change in the shape of the cornea over time. As the cornea continues to change to a cone shape, the images your eyes see become more distorted. Over time it can cause a severe loss of vision. Keratoconus can be passed through families, physical, and/or environmental factors as well.
Treatment Options for Keratoconus:
There are several treatment options for Keratoconus. Finding the right treatment option depends on the stage of your condition, the progression of your condition (sometimes it progresses faster in one eye than it does in other).
Keratoconus treatment options include:
¨ Glasses or contacts in early stages to improve vision and correct the prescription
¨ Non-invasive Holcomb C3-R (cornea crosslinking) treatment to stabilize eyes
¨ INTACS to help reshape the cornea and improve cornea transplant
¨ Cornea transplant when too advanced for other treatments
Keratoconus & Altitude:
For those who enjoy the outdoors we often get worried when we hear that our eyes are damaged. This brings up many questions like “How will this affect me when I am climbing?” or “Will I still be able to climb?”
Is Altitude Safe With Keratoconus?
Yes, as long as you take precautions. If you are at a severe stage of Keratoconus it is not wise to travel in high altitudes. At times vision can blur in high altitudes and when you already have reduced vision due to advanced Keratoconus, this is not an additional risk you want to take. But if your Keratoconus has been treated and is stable, you can travel in high altitudes with less risk and concern. Making sure you have the proper guide and they are aware of your condition or you have other with you that can assist should you need it. Additionally making sure that you pay attention to what your eyes are doing as it can tell you best how far to go.
Will it Affect Me While I Climb?
Often times those who have Keratoconus can experience dry eyes, and Altitude sickness in elevations above 16,000 ft. Dry eyes can be treated easy enough but while climbing it can affect your vision. Take along artificial tears. If you experience decline in vision or drying, try instilling a drop of artificial tears, this often will improve the situation. Making sure that you have treatments to stabilize your Keratoconus before going out may help you get back safely too by have security in stable vision.
Getting a diagnosis of Keratoconus can be scary, especially if you have had a family member with the condition. However there are many new treatment options that can improve your quality of vision, slow, or even in some cases stop the progression of the condition. Understand you can have a full and exciting life with Keratoconus.
September 5th, 2017
There are many reasons we have to exercise including weight loss, physical therapy, and just staying healthy. But according to the American Optometric Association, another reason to exercise is Keratoconus. Many doctors believe that exercising and training the eyes can slow the process of Keratoconus and strengthen the eyes.
Below are a few exercises you can do to help your eyes:
Focusing your eyes:
Swaying is an exercise that helps you regain control over the muscles of your eyes. In Keratoconus we struggle with symptoms like double vision and loss of eye control. Swaying teaches you how to control where your eyes go, and strengthens your muscles around your eyes.
-Keep your feet shoulder-width apart
-choose an object in the distance
-Sway from side to side focusing on the object as you pass by
Strengthening Your Eyes:
Recently the American Optometric Association said that Racket and Team sports help your strengthen your eyes by improving your overall visual acuity. Team sports and Racket sports work on
* Eye Tracking
* Visual Memory
* Reaction Time
* Depth Perception
* Peripheral Vision Skills
Overall exercise has many uses. Improving some of your vision and delaying the process of Keratoconus can be done with a few simple exercises over the course of time. Improving your vision and strengthening your eyes can also improve your vision for your ladder years by improving visual memory, depth perception, and peripheral vision skills.
So the next time you are in the eye doctors office be sure to ask them what you can do to improve your quality of vision at home or in the field. And the next time you think about your exercise routine find a way to add your eye exercises in and improve your vision quality for now and in your near future.
August 1st, 2017
The management of Keratoconus can be a struggle. But facing Keratoconus with other conditions like: Diabetes, Cataracts, Hypertension, or even arthritis can be even more of a challenge. Having a treatment plan can help assist you in the day to day management of multiple conditions. While managing your Keratoconus you should already know about developing an effective treatment plan and how having a support team can help you face daily challenges.
Even the support of your family or your team of doctors can allow you to problem solve when it comes to management. Below are some things you can do to help manage your conditions.
Diabetes & Keratoconus:
Diabetes effects the blood sugar levels, and as we all know the blood runs through the entire body including the eyes. While we don’t often think of the eyes becoming damaged from out of control blood sugar levels, it can happen quickly and even cause blindness within 6 months to a year. So how do you manage these medical conditions?
- Log your blood sugar readings regularly. This will help you keep an eye on your levels, give you better control,and reduce the amount of complications caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
- Exercising daily can help keep your blood sugar levels down. Also joining in racket and team sports can help with tracking, eye response, eye muscle control, and other things to improve your Keratoconus.
- Getting regular exams. Get regular eye exams, as well as diabetic tests like, A1C, and Kidney function tests. This can prevent unexpected complications for both your Diabetes and Keratoconus.
Hypertension & Keratoconus Management:
Hypertension or high blood pressure is caused by an increase in the amount of pressure your blood puts on your vessels and arteries as it flows throughout your body. Since your blood flows through all areas of the body hypertension can effect your eyes as well. In routine examinations the eye care professionals can see if any damage is caused to the vessels within your eyes and often diagnose hypertension in its early stages.
If hypertension continues to go untreated it can cause additional problems with your eyes and quality of vision. Below are some tips to help you control your hypertension:
- Decreasing the amount of salt your body intakes.
- Drinking more water daily
- Implementing a small exercise regimen into your daily routine
- Reducing your diet from a 2500 -2000 calorie diet to 1500
- Getting Regular exams from your primary physician
July 1st, 2017
The Intacs procedure is a non-laser procedure that corrects mild to moderate nearsightedness. The clear inserts made to reshape the cornea and improve vision are made from the same material used in contact lenses and cataract surgery. The FDA- approved procedure cannot be seen when placed below the surface of the cornea. The Intacs procedure does not involve any shots or needles just numbing drops.
Benefits of Using INTACS:
- Outpatient: INTACS does not require a lot of down time. Many patients go home afterwards and often return to work within a couple of days.
- Little Pain/ Recovery Times: small amount of pain to no pain with the procedure. Although there may be some sensitivity and itching for a day or two.
- Removable- INTACS can be removed easily if your prescription changes for any reason. The procedure is safe and easy.
The 10 minute Intacs procedure was originated in 1999. The surgical technique has various sizes and if not positioned correctly it is possible to experience worse vision. Before you have the Intacs procedure performed it is important to know the level of expertise of your surgeon. Setting up questions to ask your surgeon will be helpful, below are some questions to ask.
- Will 1 or 2 segments be used?
- What thickness will be used?
- What location will Intacs be placed?
June 20th, 2017
There are several questions surrounding the patient with a family history when it comes to Keratoconus. In the past there was little in the way of treatment of Keratoconus. In the end many patients would need to receive corneal transplants, which were invasive, painful and required a long recover time. However over the past decade there have been many changes to the treatment for Keratoconus. Many doctors are finding that earlier detection of the condition will prevent more invasive or longer treatments from being a necessity.
Family History of Keratoconus will merely make you more at risk for development of the condition; it is not a guarantee that if you have a family member with the condition you will get it. You may require more evaluations, and a closer watch. Most eye care professionals recommend that children with family history of Keratoconus undergo their first screening at age 6. It is suggested that parents then continue annual exams to watch for any early signs of Keratoconus. However if your eye care professional knows you are a higher risk precautions can be incorporated to ensure a quicker diagnosis, and treatment plan should you need it.
In traditional treatments glasses, contact lenses like RGP (Rigid Gas Permeable lenses) were used before the eventual corneal transplant. With today’s technology we are now rarely using the corneal transplants and treatments are more effective than ever before.
Today’s Keratoconus treatments have been effective in slowing the progression, in addition to stopping and/or reversing the progression of Keratoconus. The overall outlook of Keratoconus treatment is a great one and with continued research and improvements to Keratoconus treatments we have less pain and more improvement in your quality of vision.
Holcomb C3-R® is one such treatment that is has changed the outlook for those with a family history of Keratoconus. Holcomb C3-R® has been performed on patients as young as 9 years old to strengthen the cornea and preserve vision.
Below are Signs of Keratoconus:
* Frequent eye rubbing
* Frequent changes in prescriptions
* Blurred or double vision
* Halos or glares around lights
* Sensitivity to light
* Poor night vision
* Dry eyes
* Squinting or Straining Your Eyes
If you notice any of these signs, please discuss with your eye care professional and consider an evaluation for Holcomb C3-R® to preserve vision and stop progression of Keratoconus.
Watch how Jake’s parents found a solution to save their 13 year old son’s vision
May 31st, 2017
For those who have mastered the World Wide Web getting new information on Keratoconus treatment is relatively easy. Knowledge is one of the best ways to help save your eyes for the often devastating news of a Keratoconus diagnosis. As we are sure you’ve heard many say that early detection is key in Keratoconus treatment, understanding that Keratoconus is a progressive condition which gets worse over time is the number one reason to seek early treatment. The longer you go without treatment the more detrimental the condition can become.
When you get regular screenings you are ensuring that you find conditions such as Keratoconus at an early enough stage to greatly improve your quality of vision and protect your eyes. In essence you are saying that your eyes matter to you. The progression of Keratoconus can be slowed greatly, even reversed in some cases. The benefits of the new advancements in treatments for Keratoconus are growing, and though they have been out for at least 10 years many are still showing more benefits today. Below are some of the new advanced treatments of Keratoconus. Take a look for yourself.
Blurred vision not improved by glasses or contacts
Frequent eye rubbing
Frequent changing of prescriptions
Glare or halos around lights making it difficult to drive at night
Increased sensitivity to light
Glasses or contact lenses – Changing prescriptions frequently may be needed
Holcomb C3-R ® – strengthens the cornea and slows/stops progression of Keratoconus
INTACS for Keratoconus – helps decrease the bulging cornea and improve vision
CK (Conductive Keratoplasty for astigmatism correction)
Intra Ocular Lenses – Visian ICL (insertable contact lens – permanent – no maintenance)
It is up to you to educate yourself. Ensuring that you find the questions you need to take care of yourself can improve not only the quality of your vision but also the quality of your life!
April 13th, 2017
A Diagnosis of Keratoconus is often a fearful experience. There are several reactions to this type of diagnosis but there are many ways to gather the information you need to handle and treat a diagnosis of Keratoconus. By first remembering that there are many advancements in treatments for Keratoconus and increased vision is an option for sufferers of Keratoconus.
Below are 3 more tips to remember after diagnosis of Keratoconus:
Discuss your diagnosis with your eye care professional: Your biggest hope for treatment of Keratoconus is to keep open communication with your eye care professional. Many patients get fearful and stop going, or don’t speak up about their feelings toward the diagnosis. This can jeopardize your chances of recovery considerably.
Find a doctor you are comfortable with: When you have a diagnosis like Keratoconus and your health is on the line it is important that you trust your doctor. You should not only feel comfortable with the doctor treating you but you should be able to ask questions and trust their decisions.
Do your own research: Don’t wait on someone else to do research. Educate yourself on the condition and options. If you have questions ask them. This is important to ensure you get the proper treatment. The doctor is their to assist & take care of you. They expect you will have questions and shouldn’t be surprised when you ask them. This will help you get a better overview of what you can expect in treating the condition, and in daily life.
March 22nd, 2017
A diagnoses of Keratoconus can be devastating to anyone however many advancements in the treatment of Keratoconus have brought new hope to Keratoconus patients including CK. CK or Conductive Keratoplasty is relatively new but was FDA approved in 2004. The treatment is used to help with irregular astigmatism and uses heat from radio waves instead of a laser to reshape the cornea.
In patients with Keratoconus the cornea starts to become irregular shaped which distorts the vision of the patient progressively over the course of years until the patient’s vision becomes so distorted it is difficult to see even with contacts or glasses. With this treatment the cornea is reshaped giving clearer vision to the patient and reducing the distorted vision.
CK often takes no longer than 5 minutes per eye and has a short recovery time for the patient with minimal discomfort. Most patients describe no more than a slight sandy feeling for a few hours after the procedure. Patient are advised to take a 4-5 hour nap after the procedure and upon wakening many patients have noticeably improved vision.
Below are a few Symptoms of Keratoconus:
- Excessive Rubbing of the eyes with our without itchy eyes
- Visual disturbances or distortion
- Glares or halos
- Squinting to see
- Seeing Double
Keratoconus affects thousands of people everyday. Understanding your treatment options for the treatment of Keratoconus and knowing that there is hope for you is the most important part of living with this progressive disease. Getting help early can reduce the damage of Keratoconus to your vision.
February 4th, 2017
Keratoconus is a progressive condition and sometimes runs in families. While just because you have it in your family doesn’t mean you will develop it, this can increase your risk of getting it. For those of you who have to have constant changes to your prescription may do well to visit a specialist in Keratoconus as this can be a sign of more serious conditions. There are several other symptoms but catching the condition early can help to improve your quality of vision and protect your vision in the future.
Delayed diagnosis of Keratoconus can cause the need for a corneal transplant which would require you to have a long and more painful recovery. New advancements in treatment of Keratoconus are improving the quality of vision for the patient as well as causing a large percentage to not require a corneal transplant in the future. Below are some of the signs and symptoms of Keratoconus:
- Blurred vision
- Frequent Prescription changes
- Sensitivity to light
- Poor night vision
- Straining of the eyes
- Sudden Cloudiness in your vision
Though there are many good eye doctors not all are using all the available options. Additionally make sure you are comfortable with your eye care professionals and be sure to let them know of any visual changes. It just might preserve your vision!