Treatment of Keratoconus

In the early stages, spectacles or soft contact lenses may be used to correct vision. As the cornea becomes thinner and steeper, rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact  lenses are often required to correct vision more adequately. In very advanced cases, where contact lenses fail to improve vision, a corneal transplant may be needed.

Changes caused by keratoconus can take many years to develop. For this reason we monitor those with the condition and invite them back for repeat assessments for up to five years from an initial visit. 

When a person with keratoconus attends a clinic at Moorfields , the following tests might be performed;

1. Vision (reading chart)

2. Refraction (spectacle test)

3. Corneal scan (Pentacam) 

Any necessary contact lens checks will also be undertaken.  The results are compared with those from your previous visits. If the results are getting steadily worse, we will discuss with you whether you need to undergo corneal cross-linking (CXL). 

CXL is a new treatment that can stop keratoconus getting worse. It is effective in more than nine out of 10 patients, with a single 30-minute day-case procedure, but it is only suitable where the corneal shape is continuing to deteriorate.  Beyond a certain stage, if the cornea is too thin, it could be unsafe to perform the procedure. Usually in people in their late 30s, the cornea naturally stiffens and CXL is generally not required. Below this age, the cornea is more flexible and disease progression (and worsening vision) are more likely to occur.