When I was first diagnosed with keratoconus they told me that nothing could be done. Since I had worn hard contact lenses since I was a teenager they didn't notice it until my mid 30's. That was when I started having trouble with the contact lenses. I have been fortunate in that not only did I inadvertantly do the right thing for many years, but when I had to give up the hard contact lenses my vision didn't deteriorate. I still have double vision in one eye, which I was told I have to live with. Maybe in the future I won't.
One of 2,000 people in the U.S. is diagnosed each year with keratoconus,
a vision-robbing disease usually first spotted during the teenage
years. The cause isn't understood, but it is known to damage the
collagen fibers that form the structure of the cornea (the outer surface
of the eye). It's the cornea that allows the eye to focus properly. As
keratoconus worsens over time, the cornea degenerates and becomes
thinner, bulges outwards and makes clear vision impossible. Standard
treatments for the disease in the U.S. include specialized eyeglasses,
hard contact lenses, and implanted lenses. However, none of these can
permanently correct keratoconus. Severe cases often require corneal
transplants, which are not only expensive but may not always "take."
now there is a stunning development that may soon change this outlook
for those suffering from this eye disease. At the 115th Annual Meeting
of the American Academy of Ophthalmology currently underway in Orlando,
Florida, scientist Paolo Vinciguerra, MD, just announced the results of a
study showing a vitamin-based treatment that may permanently cure
keratoconus in many people.
The new treatment, which has already
proven effective in Europe and other parts of the world, is called
collagen crosslinking and involves applying riboflavin (a B vitamin) to
the cornea, which is then exposed to a specific form of ultraviolet
light. The results? Collagen fibers regenerate with new bonds forming
between them, increasing the strength and stiffness of the cornea.
B vitamin may be permanent cure
treatment not only has a high success rate in restoring vision, but it
also actually combats the causes of keratoconus -- the degeneration of
collagen -- and reduces the odds the eye disease will ever return.
of Dr. Vinciguerra's clinical trial in Milan, Italy, showed the vitamin
treatment improved vision in approximately 70 percent of patients. Dr.
Vinciguerra's new study confirmed that adverse effects are rare and the
procedure seems to be extraordinarily safe. The treatment is currently
in clinical trials in the United States and is expected to receive FDA
approval in 2012.
In an American Academy of Ophthalmology session
entitled "Long-term Results of Corneal Crosslinking for Keratoconus",
Dr. Vinciguerra described the treatment of more than 250 keratoconus
patients who received the collagen crosslinking at his clinic.
Sixty-eight percent of the 500 eyes treated gained significant visual
acuity. What's more, these improvements remained stable at the end of a 3
year follow-up period.
"For many people with keratoconus,
collagen crosslinking can provide a better and more permanent solution
to their vision problems," Dr. Vinciguerra said in a media statement.
"Given that no current treatment in use in the U.S. offers permanent
correction, this effective option represents a significant advance for
corneal medicine."Sources for this article include:http://www.aao.org/http://www.nkcf.org/en/about-kerato...http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/...