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Keratoconus is a corneal disease caused by weak binding of collagen fibers within the cornea. Akin to having a tire with a weak area that forms a bulge, patients with advanced keratoconus can have central protusion of the cornea. This can lead to high degrees of nearsightedness and astigmatism. Often patients with mild to moderate keratoconus will seek out LASIK eye surgery because they may have blurred vision with glasses or contacts or may find that contacts just never fit quite right or feel uncomfortable.
Many patients with keratoconus may only develop mild disease, however some will go on to develop more advanced disease with at times profoundly poor vision. In the past advanced disease could only be treated with corneal transplantation. In no case is standard LASIK a good idea however as it can severely worsen the vision.
In recent years newer treatment options have been developed. These include Intacs segments, Intacs SK (not available in the U.S.) and corneal collagen cross linking. These modalities can be used separately or in combination in patients with keratoconus. In some individuals either one or both treatments may be more appropriate.
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