Keratoconus – Find Out What Stage You Are and Treatment Options

Sub Title

Eye care doctor looking at person's eyes
by Dougherty Laser Vision

Keratoconus Surgery and Treatment in Ventura County with Dougherty Laser Vision.

Keratoconus is a relatively common disease (1/2000 people) that causes progressive steepening and thinning of the cornea (the clear window in front of the eye). There is some genetic component to keratoconus and it may run in families. Eye rubbing may cause or worsen keratoconus. The disease can present as any of the following:

Corneal thinning, progressive corneal bulging into a cone-like shape, impaired vision, discomfort in contact lenses due to irregular corneal shape, not seeing clearly with or without glasses or contact lenses or frequent prescription changes.

Possible Keratoconus treatments ordinarily are as follows:

Early Stage Glasses and toric soft contact lenses (corrects astigmatisms and nearsightedness). Corneal crosslinking can be used to prevent progression.

Mid Stage Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses (RGP’s) or scleral lenses. When traditional lenses cannot be used due to keratoconus progression, Specialty RGP’s may be sized for a proper fit to maintain adequate vision and comfort. Corneal crosslinking can be used to prevent progression.

Mid-Late Stage Intacs corneal implants with or without corneal crosslinking. Used to reshape the cornea without removing corneal tissue and provide functional vision with the help of soft lenses/glasses.

Late Stage Partial or full-thickness corneal transplantation. The severely keratoconic and possibly scarred cornea is replaced with healthy donor corneal tissue sourced from a cadaver donor from regional eye bank. Typically requires 12 to 18 months for visual rehabilitation before stabilizing and can last 10 to 15 years. Most patients still require an RGP contact lens to see well.


Intacs- INTACS Inserts are two curved, clear plastic segments that are implanted in the perimeter of the cornea to attempt to regularize the shape of the cornea in patients with keratoconus and possibly reduce nearsightedness and astigmatism. The Inserts are implanted through a small surgical incision on the perimeter of the cornea with the assistance of a femtosecond laser. The inserts may help to restore clear vision in keratoconus patients by flattening and repositioning the cornea.
INTACS Inserts are intended for patients with keratoconus who are no longer able to achieve adequate comfort and vision using contact lenses or glasses. While Intacs are not specifically FDA-approved for the treatment of keratoconus, they are used routinely around the world and under an FDA Humanitarian Device Exemption for this condition at Dougherty Laser Vision.

If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus or inquiring about your keratoconus treatment options, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.