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Award wining optician in Lytham

Thompson & Hardwick Optometrists have been trusted cornea experts for and contact lens specialists since 2006 when our principle optometrist began working in the cornea clinic at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Consequently the majority of Keratoconus patients attending Blackpool are seen and managed by this practice.

Keratoconus and it's associated conditions, Pellucid Marginal degeneration, Keratoglobus and Terriens Marginal Degeneration is a degeneration of the cornea resulting in excessive and irregular astigmatism. The patient suffers with ghosted and blurred vision that is very difficult or impossible to treat with convention glasses or contact lenses.

Keartoconus

Diagnosis

If your Optometrist suspects Keratoconus it is vital that the condition is confirmed with corneal topography in the hospital system. The condition should then be closely monitored, preferably with topography, smaller changes are easier to detect using computerised analysis. If any deterioration is detected a referral to a collagen cross linking centre should then be made.

At Thompson & Hardwick Optometrist we use topography on all suspected corneal cases and can help to monitor suspicious cases.

CXL Intervention

Collagen Cross Linking (CXL) is a minor procedure designed to harden the cornea and stop its shape from distorting. If a patient's cornea is changing this procedure can easily be performed to prevent any future changes. There are differing types of CXL, however, the most common (Epi-Off) starts by the surgeon removing the surface layer of the cornea, the eye is then dowsed in a vitamin solution including Riboflavin which is then exposed to regular doses of UV light. This action creates cross bonds within the corneal tissue, thus strengthening it and ultimately preventing future changes.

 

All Keratoconics should be monitored an offered this procedure in the event of deterioration. To do that the patients should be monitored at least annually in the hospital until the age of at least 30.

Contact Lens fitting

Contact lenses are the standard treatment for Keratoconus and work extremely well. Contact lenses can be the difference between a patient being eligible for partial sight registration and 20/20 (perfect) vision. 

 

At Thompson & Hardwick Optometrists we have a special interest in fitting these lenses and consider ourselves experts in the field. We see patients from all over the North West, England and even have some international patients. We will consider all types of lenses as we firmly believe that each patient is individual. However, our most successful lenses are Mini-Scleral lenses which have been life chnging for some of our more complicated cases.

Surgery?

Whilst surgery is a vital option for some patients, we at Thompson & Hardwick Optometrists believe that it should be the absolute last resort. This is due to the risks involved and the likelihood of lifetime medications and often the need for contact lenses post surgery. 

Newer techniques have helped to lower the risks of surgery and increase the post-surgery refractive outcomes. Deep Anterior Lamella Keratoplasty (DALK) can be performed in the absence of significant corneal scarring and only removes the front two thirds of the cornea, leaving some of the host cornea to help make a more regular corneal shape and decrease the convalescence needed as well as the risk of rejection and/or failure. 

There is a lot we do not know about keratoconus but what we do know is that patients are usually atopic, meaning they have multiple allergies. Particularly usually suffer with asthma and eczema and are known to excessively rub their eyes. We do not know if rubbing the eyes causes Keratoconus , however, we do recommend patients NOT to rub their eyes just in case. Anti allergy medications and lubricant drops are often prescribed to help with the urge to eye rub.

There is a hereditary aspect to Keratoconus, however, this is not a very strong link, therefore the children of sufferers are only 10% likely to follow in their parents footsteps.

Patients are usually diagnosed in their early to late teens with a rapidly increasing astigmatic (rugby ball eye shape) prescription. The condition can and does deteriorate over time but in most cases stabaises over the age of 30 years old. Up to the age of 30 it is very important that patients are closely monitored for corneal changes.

Our management recommendations are detailed below.

Book your Assessment

Thompson & Hardwick Optometrists have all the equipment to both diagnose and monitor Keratoconus. We have years of experience dealing with complex corneal cases both in primary care and hospital. We manage and help rehabilitate many patients every month with this condition. If you would like to seek our expert advice feel free to get in touch.

Thompson & Hardwick Optometrists | Keratoconus Experts

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