Keratoconus Specialist

Foothill Eye Institute

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Pasadena and the surrounding Los Angeles County Area

Around 1 in 2,000 individuals develops a condition called keratoconus, a disease that weakens the cornea. At Foothill Eye Institute, which has locations in Pasadena, Glendora, West Covina, Montebello, and Downtown Los Angeles, California, ophthalmologist Ron Gutmark, MD, and his team provide corneal cross-linking and other treatments for the progressive disease. Call Foothill Eye Institute to schedule a visit, or book your appointment online today.

 Keratoconus Q&A

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye disease that affects the structure of the cornea, which is the clear layer on the front of your eye. With keratoconus, the cornea is thin and misshapen. Specifically, it takes on a cone-like shape that results in eventual vision loss.

Experts don’t fully understand keratoconus or what causes it, but they do know that it typically starts around the time you hit puberty. Yet, they also believe you can have a predisposition for the disease at birth. The mechanism of keratoconus is the loss of collagen in the cornea.

The team at Foothill Eye Institute specializes in diagnosing and treating keratoconus and other conditions of the cornea. They take your medical history, conduct an eye exam, and use tests such as corneal topography or slit-lamp exams to find abnormalities in your cornea. 

What are the signs and symptoms of keratoconus?

Getting regular eye exams can help you detect diseases like keratoconus early on in their development. Yet, you should also schedule an appointment at Foothill Eye Institute if you notice any of the common symptoms of keratoconus, which include:

  • Progressively blurring vision
  • Glares and light halos
  • Trouble with night vision
  • Eye irritation 
  • Headaches

Symptoms like these come from lots of different eye conditions, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis. The team at Foothill Eye Institute considers all possibilities while examining and testing your eyes for vision decline. 

What are my treatment options for keratoconus?

In its earliest stages, you can manage the vision decline from keratoconus by wearing glasses. Hard contact lenses can also provide clearer vision, even when the decline in your vision has gone beyond what glasses can correct. Still, neither glasses or contact lenses stop the disease from progressing. 

During later stages of keratoconus, the team at Foothill Eye Institute treats the condition with corneal cross-linking. This outpatient procedure combines ultraviolet (UV) light with riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops. This combination of components stiffens your cornea by increasing the collagen in your eye. 

For very advanced stages of keratoconus that can no longer respond to more conservative treatments like corneal cross-linking, corneal transplant surgery may be an option. 

To schedule an examination and learn more about keratoconus, call Foothill Eye Institute or reserve an appointment online today.