Keratoconus (from Greek. «Karato» - the cornea and «konus») - a condition of the eye in which the cornea takes a conical shape. Under the influence of the degenerative process destroys the cells of one of the layers of the cornea (Bowman layer), resulting in a loss of rigidity of the cornea and is under pressure of intraocular fluid bulges outwards. Keratoconus leads to severe visual impairment, but almost never leads to its complete loss.
Keratoconus is found not so rare, according to medical statistics, they ill 1 person in 2000. The incidence does not depend on gender or race, the first symptoms of keratoconus occur usually in people with the time of puberty and up to 20 years.
The causes of keratoconus
The causes of degenerative processes in the cornea, leading to keratoconus are still unknown. No doubt the influence of autoimmune processes that destroy the cells of the immune system of the body's own cells. These data are confirmed by the fact that keratoconus often occurs in people with asthma, allergies and other disorders of the immune system.
One of the factors contributing to the development of keratoconus, is the prolonged use of corticosteroids, which provides, inter alia, the effect on the immune system, and also confirms its leading role in causing the disease.
There was a relationship between the frequency of occurrence of keratoconus by adverse environmental conditions, such as prolonged stay in areas where the air is contaminated with coarse suspension of dust that causes permanent corneal microtrauma. There are also data on the influence of genetic factors on the development of the disease. In most cases the cause of keratoconus remains unknown.
Symptoms of keratoconus
Typically, symptoms first appear keratoconus in one eye, but then in the second process involves the eye. Keratoconus rarely happens only in one eye, often at different eyes just different degrees of its manifestation. The main symptom of keratoconus is blurred vision. Initially, patients reported blurred vision in the dark, then blurring manifests itself in a good light. The eyes get tired quickly, sometimes they appear unpleasant sensations in the form of itching or burning.
Patients with keratoconus describe an image before my eyes like a blurred picture, which they see, as if through a glass in a heavy downpour. Double vision, there is a characteristic symptom of monocular for keratoconus poliopii - when, instead of a patient sees multiple images. This is especially pronounced when looking at bright objects on a dark background. Patients are asked to look at the image of the white dots on a black sheet of paper, and instead of a single white dot in the center, he sees several of these points, randomly scattered on a sheet of paper, and when checking in some time this chaotic sequence does not change.
The patient has difficulty in the selection of corrective glasses, there is a need for part of their shift. Use soft contact lenses in general becomes impossible because of the lack of fit of the lens to the cornea.
Symptoms usually keratoconus growing for several months or even years after the disease progress and no longer remains on the same level for a long time. In rare cases keratoconus progresses continuously, resulting in frequent breakage of the cornea and the threat of loss of the eye.
Diagnosis of Keratoconus
Initially, the doctor asks the patient carefully about the symptoms, and then check visual acuity. Inspect slit lamp, while detection characteristic symptom of keratoconus - "ring Fleyshnera" is one of the diagnostic features. Apply skiascopy - research method in which a beam of light is directed at the patient's iris and moving it, watching the reflection. If there is a so-called keratoconus scissor effect, in which two reflected light bands are moving like scissors blades.
One of the most informative and accurate modern methods of diagnosis of keratoconus is the use of optical topography, with the preparation of a topographic map of the front and rear wall of the cornea. This method allows to diagnose keratoconus, even in the early stages, and topographic maps of the cornea at certain intervals allows us to observe the dynamics of the process.
Treatment of keratoconus
Depending on the nature of the process (rapid progression, tendency to relapse, or vice versa, slow increase of symptoms with long periods of stability) can be both surgical and non-surgical treatment of keratoconus.
Because of conservative methods of treatment of keratoconus, the following:
- Correction semihard lenses based on corneal mechanical indentation cone with special lenses, hard and soft in the center to the periphery;
- Crosslinking (Corneal Collagen Crosslinking, CCL, CXL) - a relatively new but well-proven method to strengthen the cornea and increase its rigidity by 300% non-invasive way. The method consists in removing the surface cells of the cornea, riboflavin instillation, followed by 30-minute irradiation with UV light eyes. Then Eye wear special contact lens, which protects the cornea at the time, as long as they keep the process of regeneration. Such treatment of keratoconus is safe and minimally invasive, performed on an outpatient basis and does not require general anesthesia.
In severe and advanced stage of keratoconus surgery is still necessary because of the frequent breaks there is a threat of loss of the cornea of the eye. To date, the adoption of two types of operations in keratoconus:
- Implanting into the cornea of intrastromal corneal ring segments (ICS), a polymer thin arcs located on each side of the pupil, which exert a constant pressure, resulting in a flattened cone.
- Corneal transplantation or penetrating keratoplasty - classical method of surgery for keratoconus, when removed en corneal thinning, and in its place is implanted donor.
Keratoconus Treatment folk remedies
Keratoconus folk remedies used as a tonic, as well as preventive, to avoid disease complications such as rupture of the cornea. Itching, burning and fatigue eyes recommend rinsing and lotions decoction of herbs such as chamomile, sage, mother and stepmother. Herbs can also be used as a tip for soft immunomodulation, such as tea leaves of Echinacea purpurea.
Another of the traditional therapies of keratoconus - honey and other bee products. Honey and Propolis in this case is applied topically in the form of aqueous solutions, and in food, as a tonic and immunostimulating agents.