Cornea and Keratoconus FAQ’s

Will rigid contact lenses stop Keratoconus from worsening?

No, when worn, the lenses temporarily flatten the non-structural epithelium (skin) of the cornea. This creates the illusion of stopping the progression. However, the keratoconus continues to progress, and contacts must be updated to keep up with the worsening disease.

To say that contact lenses somehow stop Keratoconus from progressing is like saying that wearing a baseball hat stops a child’s skull from growing. Because Keratoconus is a progressive disease, there must be some medical intervention to stop it, such as corneal cross-linking.

Will corneal cross-linking treatment improve my vision?

The primary goal of corneal cross-linking (CXL) is to strengthen and stabilise the cornea to prevent progression of Keratoconus. In some cases, CXL may also improve corneal shape and reduce corneal astigmatism, and thereby improve uncorrected and best-corrected vision, however there is no guarantee this additional benefit will occur.

Will I go blind from Keratoconus?

Keratoconus does not typically lead to complete blindness. But the disease can degrade vision to a level where one will experience difficulty leading a normal life.

Corneal hydrops (extensive scarring) as well as contact lens intolerance can occur as the disease progresses. This can lead to legal blindness and will eventually lead to the need for a cornea transplant.

Will I still need to wear contact lenses or glasses if I have Keratoconus treatment?

If someone has very mild Keratoconus, then it is possible that they may not require glasses or contact lenses after receiving Keratoconus treatment. In the majority of cases, however, patients will benefit from some type of vision correction after receiving treatment that can include the use of glasses, contacts, or additional vision correction procedures.

As each patient’s Keratoconus is different, the best vision correction option for one patient may not be indicated for another.

After having Keratoconus treatments, it is important to be thoroughly assessed by your eye doctor and to discuss the best vision correction option for you.

What shape is the shape of a Keratoconus affected cornea?

With Keratoconus, the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) loses its essentially spherical shape and becomes progressively elongated, like the tip of an Australian Rules Football or a rugby ball. The rest of the eyeball retains its normal shape.

Does Keratoconus cause night blindness and make it hard to see when driving?

Keratoconus can result in difficulty driving at night from starbursts, glare, halos and multiple images.

Does early diagnosis make any difference in Keratoconus progression?

Yes. Early diagnosis means vision may be only minimally affected. In those cases, corneal cross-linking should be considered to stabilise and prevent future vision loss.

Is Pellucid Marginal Degeneration (PMD) the same as or a subcategory of Keratoconus?

Pellucid Marginal Degeneration (PMD) is a subtype of Keratoconus. It’s the same disease, but in “pellucid” the steepening is in the far periphery of the cornea and it is more commonly found to affect older patients.

Book an appointment

Our staff are always available to discuss any further questions you may have or to arrange a pre-operative assessment for you to see the clinical optometrist and surgeon.

Are you suitable for eye laser surgery?

Not all people are suitable for laser surgery and a thorough examination with an Ophthalmologist is necessary to determine suitability, however, there are some general guidelines and questions which can provide an initial indication of suitability. Take the suitability test and take your first step to a clearer brighter future.

Your questions answered here

We understand that having eye laser surgery is an important decision and that you may have questions about the procedure, your immediate recovery and what you can expect in the days, weeks and months after surgery. We have answered as many as we can here.