Would a Pentacam diagnose astigmatism
What is a keratoconus (corneal cone)?
The eye disease keratoconus is a non-inflammatory disease of the cornea in which it thins and bulges until it takes on a conical shape. The bulge often shows up in the lower part of the eye. About one in 2000 people is affected, usually in both eyes with a time lag. Keratoconus usually occurs in the second to third decades of life and comes to a standstill between the fourth and fifth decades of life. In some patients, the progressive form of keratoconus can not only make it impossible to wear special contact lenses, but also require a corneal transplant. In the early stages, this rare eye disease is often mistaken for astigmatism and treated incorrectly. Only experienced doctors are able to reliably diagnose keratoconus by examining the corneal surface, the back surface of the cornea (endothelium), the corneal thickness and, if necessary, a determination of the number of cells in the endothelium.
What Causes Keratoconus Corneal Disease?
A keratoconus is probably a disruption between the collagen molecules of the connective tissue support structure of the cornea, which leads to less cross-linking of the collagen and thus to a reduced biomechanical stability of the cornea. The causes are complex and not yet fully understood. A genetic predisposition is indicated by the fact that it often occurs in families. Immunological factors can also play a role. So far, however, it is only certain that vigorous and frequent rubbing of the eyes for years, for example in the case of allergy sufferers, represents a high risk factor for the development of keratoconus. Thyroid dysfunction could also be a cause.
Studies show: UV riboflavin crosslinking seems to be able to stop the increasing protrusion of the cornea.
For this reason, we recommend our keratoconus patients to have their thyroid examined in order to undergo therapy with thyroid hormones if necessary. The thyroid hormone thyroxine seems to have a significant influence on the biomechanics of the cornea: It increases the increase and stiffness of corneal tissue and affects the nature and properties of the collagen-protein connection.
As the keratoconus disease progresses, the cornea becomes increasingly bulging and bulging. A distinction is made between the "silent" form of keratoconus, called "Forme Fruste", and the progressive form, the so-called "progressive" keratoconus.
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