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keratoconus treatment

Improve Your Sports Vision Skills At Home!

The types of visual skills necessary for you to improve your performance will depend on the type or types of sports that you are involved in.

As an example, someone who plays soccer will need to work on eye-foot coordination whereas a golfer should focus on eye-hand coordination.

No matter what type of playing court, field or dojo you use, it is essential that you have developed a sort of visual memory pattern that will allow you to determine the best move for you to make based on countless micro-cues.

Of course, not all sports require that type of memory, such as activities that are static in nature and performed individually, such as bowling.

Peripheral vision is essential to those who play football, basketball and other contact sports. Eye-foot coordination is an essential skill for many sports, including tennis and hockey. Likewise, some folks need to focus their efforts on discerning contrasts. For instance, snow skiing requires the ability to differentiate between various types of shadows.

Important Visual Skills For Sports

Try out these exercises at home for better visual acuity:

Focus Flexibility – In order to perform well, your eyes must be able to quickly switch focus from a distant object to one close by. Those who are 40+ often notice that their ability to do this is compromised, which requires that they wear some type of corrective lens to see well.

While you can’t change the natural course of aging, everyone can work on this skill for improved visual abilities. Simply look back and forth from near to far objects, attempting to switch focus quickly. Make sure that you can see clearly before you switch back.

Suggestion: If you spend a bunch of time on the computer, look away to a distant object frequently throughout your session. This is a great way to work on your focus flexibility while also reducing some of the eye strain that is commonly caused by staring at a screen for too long.

Peripheral Awareness – Can you see what is going on to either side of you? Your peripheral vision allows you to see these things without having to turn your head. Your eye doctor can perform a test to see how well your peripheral vision works. This painless test involves simple lights being lit around the sides of your head to determine how far you can see.

Suggestion: If you want to work on this, watch your next cat video with your face at an angle to the screen. Practice seeing the details of videos and movies from the side of your head. Don’t forget to work both sides for improving and balancing your visual prowess.

Dynamic Visual Acuity – This aspect of sight lets you take note of things that are happening really fast. Even if you have perfect vision while sitting in the doctor’s office, that doesn’t mean that you have a high level of dynamic visual acuity. It is important that you have this tested.

Serious Athletic Vision Training

A vision specialist who works with athletes is your best choice for finding out the strengths and weaknesses of your vision. Then, a comprehensive plan can be made to further enhance your performance. And as an added bonus, if you happen to ever need a keratoconus specialist, then you’ll have one able and ready.

Keratoconus Treatment

scleral lenses banner
Your cornea is essentially the “window” of your eye. It’s the clear, dome-shaped cover at the very front. It helps focus light into your eye in such a way that your brain can interpret what it’s seeing. Keratoconus is a disorder in which the cornea thins out. This causes it to bulge, much like a cone. As this happens, it loses the ability to focus light into your eye. This causes blurred vision, which makes life difficult on many people.

Keratoconus Symptoms and Treatment Options

What Causes Keratoconus?

Doctors are still exploring the different potential causes of this disorder. There are multiple possibilities. One such possibility is that it might be genetic. It’s thought that there may be a genetic trait due to the fact that 1 in 10 people with this disorder also have a parent with the same disorder.

Keratoconus tends to start around the age of 20, sometimes a little earlier. Over time, these symptoms become worse.

Keratoconus Symptoms

Keratoconus doesn’t just affect one eye. Generally it affects both, and often times it affects them at different rates. This means that symptoms can be different in each eye as well as change over time.

Early on, you’ll notice symptoms such as:

  • Mild blurring of vision
  • Slightly distorted vision, such as straight lines looking wavy or bent
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Redness or swelling of the eye

The late stage symptoms of keratoconus tend to include:

  • Increased blurriness of vision
  • Increased nearsightedness or inability of the eyes to focus. As the symptoms increase, you’ll need to change your eyeglass prescription fairly often.
  • Inability to wear contact lenses Lenses may no longer fit comfortably

The up side is that keratoconus takes years to get to the more advanced stages. Unfortunately, that’s only true on average. It’s not true every single time. You may notice swelling of the cornea, or even small scars. When the cornea develops scar tissue, your vision because clouded. Your cornea has to focus light through scar tissue, after all.

Keratoconus Diagnosis

Thankfully, this disease is able to be diagnosed during a normal, routine eye exam. Ophthalmologists study the cornea, often times taking a measurement of its curve. This measurement allows them to gauge any change in shape. If they have access to the equipment, your ophthalmologist might even use a computer to map out the cornea’s surface. This gives a more detailed image, which allows a greater ability to look for any changes.

Treatment for Keratoconus in Raleigh NC

The treatment for this disorder will depend on your exact symptoms. If the symptoms are mild, then you can likely correct the vision problems with simple eye glasses. As the disorder advances, you may require specially made contact lenses.

Here are some other ways that your optometrist may treat keratoconus:

  • Intacs. This is a tiny device that’s surgically inserted into your cornea. It helps flatten out the curve in order to help improve vision.
  • Collagen Cross-Linking. This is a treatment involving special eye drops and UV light. The idea is to strengthen the cornea, forcing it to work the way it’s supposed to. This work allows the cornea to flatten or stiffen more naturally, and thus stopping the bulging from getting worse.
  • Corneal Transplant. If your symptoms are especially severe, then you may need an actual surgical procedure. Just like any organ transplant, this involves the removal of the diseased cornea in order to put in cornea tissue taken from a healthy donor.

Do Not Rub Your Eyes!

Try to avoid rubbing your eyes if at all possible if you have keratoconus. This can cause further damage to the corneal tissue. As you may imagine, this only serves to make the problem worse.

If your eyes itch or dry out quickly, then you should talk to your eye doctor about medications that can help.

Keratoconus Treatment


Keratoconus is a rare, progressive disease that affects the cornea, which is the clear, transparent layer at the front of the eye. The cornea is responsible for focusing the light that comes into your eye onto the retina for clear, sharp vision. Keratoconus causes the corneal tissue to thin out and bulge into a cone-like shape which deflects the light entering the eye and distorts vision.

Causes of Keratoconus

The exact cause of keratoconus is not known. The disease usually starts to appear in the late teens or twenties and can affect one or both eyes, usually progressing at a slow pace and slowing or stabilizing after around 10-20 years. It is believed that there is a genetic component as often it runs in families.

New research suggests that there may be a link between keratoconus and oxidative damage which weakens the cornea. There is also an association with overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and chronic eye irritation.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

With the gradual change in the shape of the cornea, vision becomes progressively worse. The patient may experience nearsightedness, astigmatism, distorted vision (straight lines look wavy), blurry vision, light sensitivity and glare, and eye redness or swelling. Typically, patient’s eyeglass prescription will change often as the vision becomes worse and contact lenses will be difficult to wear due to discomfort and improper fit.

When keratoconus become more severe (which usually takes a long time however on occasion can happen rather quickly), the cornea can begin to swell and form scar tissue. This scar tissue can result in even further visual distortion and blurred vision.

Treatment for Keratoconus

As we detail on our keratoconus treatment page, in the early stages of the disease, standard eyeglasses and soft contact lenses will usually correct the nearsightedness and astigmatism experienced by the patient. As the disease progresses however, glasses and soft contact lenses may no longer correct vision and soft lenses may become uncomfortable. This is when other forms of vision correction will be recommended.

Gas Permeable and Scleral Contact Lenses
At the more advanced stage of keratoconus rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, scleral or semi-scleral lenses may be used for increased comfort and visual acuity. Since they are more rigid, RGP and scleral lenses are able to create a smooth, round shape around the cornea, creating a smoother surface for better vision. Scleral or semi-scleral lenses have a larger diameter which covers the entire cornea and reaches over into the white part of the eye, which is known as the sclera. Many patients find these more comfortable than regular RGPs and find that they move around less when the eyes move. The main disadvantage of these rigid lenses is that for some, they are somewhat less comfortable than soft lenses and they must be continually refit as the shape of the eye changes.

Whether it is glasses or contact lenses being used to correct vision, patients will likely have to undergo many tests and prescription changes as their vision needs change.

Intacs are small, surgically implanted plastic inserts which are placed on the cornea to flatten it back to shape. Usually they are able to restore clear vision, with the continued use of glasses. Intacs are often recommended when contact lenses and eyeglasses are no longer able to correct vision adequately. Intacs take about 10 minutes to insert and can delay the need for corneal transplant.

Corneal Crosslinking (CXL)
In corneal crosslinking, a UV light and eye drops are used to strengthen and stiffen the cornea which helps to reduce bulging and restore the cornea to its natural shape.

Corneal Transplant
When corneal scarring occurs and eyeglasses and contact lenses no longer help, doctors may suggest a corneal transplant to replace the corneal with healthy donor tissue to restore vision. Most patients will still require eyeglasses or contact lenses for clear vision following the transplant.

Keratoconus is a condition that requires ongoing treatment by a qualified eye doctor. If you or a loved one suffers from this disease make sure that you find an eye doctor that you like and trust to accompany you on this journey.