West Sahara

Treating Keratoconus in Las Vegas

Senior Man On Camping Holiday With Fishing RodThis is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. The cornea is the clear, central part of the surface of the eye. That cone-shaped part deflects light and causes distorted vision when patients contract keratoconus. In Las Vegas NV the ideal solution is Siems LASIK & Eye Center.

Potential Causes

Although many theories have been proposed, there is no definite known origin. Possible culprits range from genetics to collagen deficiency, overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, or excessive eye-rubbing.

Keratoconus Symptoms and Signs

The condition tends to develop in the teen years to the early 20s, although it can happen at any age. Alterations in cornea shape occur gradually, usually over several years. In most patients, both eyes eventually become affected. Keratoconus can be difficult to detect thanks to its slow growth. We measure your cornea’s curvature to determine whether these signs came from it:

  • Distorted and Blurred Vision
  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)
  • Astigmatism
  • Double vision
  • Headaches Due to Eye Strain
  • Glare
  • Light Sensitivity

Common Keratoconus Treatment


In the early stages, glasses or soft contacts may help correct the nearsightedness and astigmatism associated with the disease. As the condition progresses and the cornea becomes increasingly thin, more advanced treatment, such as keratoconus surgery, is required.

Rigid Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses

If eyeglasses or regular soft contact lenses cannot control keratoconus, rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contacts are usually the preferred treatment. The rigid lens covers the cornea, replacing its irregular shape with a smooth, uniform refracting surface, improving vision.

Rigid contact lenses can be less comfortable to wear than soft lenses. Furthermore, fitting contact lenses on a cornea with keratoconus can be challenging and time-consuming. If you are using RGP contact lenses, you will need to visit us frequently to fine-tune the fit and lenses prescription, especially if your keratoconus continues to progress.


INTACS are plastic rings inserted into the mid-layer of the cornea to flatten it, changing the shape and location of the cone. INTACS may be needed when glasses and contacts aren’t enough to correct distorted vision. Rest assured the implants are removable and exchangeable. Should the keratoconus continue to progress, however, INTACS can only delay the need for a corneal transplant, not prevent it.

Collagen Cross-Linking

Collagen cross-linking is a relatively new method for treating keratoconus. It strengthens the corneal tissue to stop it from bulging. Eye drops with riboflavin (vitamin B2) are applied to the cornea and then activated by ultraviolet light, strengthening its collagen fibers.

Corneal Transplant Surgery

Surgery is a must for patients with advanced keratoconus, where other therapies no longer provide clear vision. This is usually true in 15-20% of cases. During corneal transplant surgery, most of the cornea is removed and then replaced with a new, donated one. The procedure’s success rate is over 97%.

This condition doesn’t have to ruin your sight. Contact Dr. Siems for possible treatments.

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