Keratoconus is a disease that creates thinning of the cornea also known as the clear front surface of the eye. Unfortunately, the cause of keratoconus is still unknown and shows no discrimination against age, gender, and race. This progressive disease causes a normal shaped cornea to bulge into an asymmetrical cone-like shape. This change can impact one’s vision so severely that it can make common daily activities, such as driving, difficult.
Previously, treatment options were limited for those diagnosed with keratoconus. Dependent on the progression of the weakened cornea, most providers suggested glasses or contacts to treat a patient’s astigmatism; however, it is not a long lasting solution. Today, there are more advanced ways to treat and reshape the cornea greatly improving one’s quality of life. For example, a large portion of keratoconus patients qualify for a procedure called Intacs®.
Intacs allow for a foundational change in the front part of the eye giving patients a cornea that maintains a more natural shape. Intacs are a specially designed implant made of medical grade plastic that are surgically placed under the surface of the cornea. The segments are placed about 2/3 deep and lie on the periphery. This implant works by reducing or eliminating myopia and astigmatism in patients with keratoconus. The procedure restores a patient’s functional vision and can potentially defer a corneal transplant.
Intacs is quick, painless, and a minimally invasive procedure that is covered by most medical insurances. The procedure takes about fifteen minutes and is done on an outpatient basis. The process includes creating two tunnels with a cool temp laser. Once they are formed, your surgeon will simply open the tunnels and gently place the Intacs. After the Intacs are implanted appropriately, a temporary suture is placed to aid in the healing of the cornea.
If you have keratoconus and are interested in seeing if you’re a candidate for Intacs please call our office at 719-258-1240 to schedule your evaluation with our corneal specialist.