Keratoconus isn’t a particularly common eye condition, but it can still cause significant problems for your long-term vision. The condition occurs when weakened fibers in the cornea cause it to thin and to bulge outwards in a cone-like shape, distorting the way in which light is refracted by it and causing your vision to become blurred. Keratoconus is a progressive condition which means that it will get worse without treatment.
There are a number of treatments that can be used to correct the vision of patients with keratoconus. One of these is known as INTACS.
INTACS are biocompatible corneal inserts/implants that are used for the treatment of keratoconus. Originally approved by the FDA in 1999 as a surgical treatment for mild myopia (nearsightedness), these tiny, crescent-shaped pieces of plastic polymer are inserted into the cornea in order to reshape the front surface of the eye.
When INTACS are in place, they flatten the cornea to refocus light rays as they pass through the eye, altering them so that they hit the retina at the back of the eye more accurately, improving patient vision. The procedure itself is usually performed using only local anesthetic and light sedation and can be completed in under half an hour, including preparation time. You’ll need someone to drive you home after your surgery since your vision may be blurred and you will also still be under the effect of the oral sedative.
It’s important to be aware that while INTACS are an effective solution for slowing the progression of keratoconus, they can’t halt the progression of the condition forever. Depending on the severity of your keratoconus, you may also still need to wear corrective eyewear following your INTACS treatment. Some patients also continue to have an additional treatment alongside getting INTACS. This treatment, called corneal cross-linking, strengthens the fibers of the cornea so that they are more effective at holding the position of the cornea in a regular shape.
If you think that INTACS could be a good solution to help resolve your keratoconus, the next step is to schedule an appointment for a consultation with your eye doctor. While many people are good candidates for the treatment, you’ll need to first have a comprehensive eye exam so that your ophthalmologist can check the severity of your keratoconus and take some eye measurements to determine if the procedure is likely going to improve your vision.
Good candidates for INTACS are also:
Over the age of 21
In good general health with no ongoing eye diseases or conditions
Have a stable glasses prescription of no more than -3.0 diopters of myopia and no more than 1.0 diopters of astigmatism
Fully aware of the realistic outcomes of their procedure
Find out if you are a candidate for INTACS for keratoconus, contact Coastal Vision Medical Group in Long Beach, Orange County, Irvine, and Norco, California at (888) 501-4496 to schedule a consultation today!