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Post Info TOPIC: My Keratoconus Experience from Diagnosis to Intacs and Cross Linking


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Date: Sat Jul 30 12:28 AM, 2011
My Keratoconus Experience from Diagnosis to Intacs and Cross Linking
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I figured I would share my keratoconus experience thus far as it may be of help to others dealing with this ailment.  I was diagnosed with KC about 6 years ago when I was 19 and living in Florida.  At that time the recommended treatment was a hard contact lens.  I never picked up my contact lens and opted to deal with the poor vision in my left eye and went away to college.  During my senior year of college I decided that I wanted to finally get a contact lens and improve my vision.  I went to an opthalmologist again and again the treatment was still the hard contact lens.  Unfortunately I could not get fitted for a lens before I moved so again I never got the lens and continued living with the poor eye sight in my left eye.  Fast forward 2 years and I am in medical school.  I am beginning to have difficulty reading the projector in class.  I notice that now my right eye's vision is starting to deteriorate.  At this point, now 24 years old, I decide that enough is enough and I am going to take care of this once and for all.  I go see another opthalmologist and he tells me about Intacs.  This is the first time I had heard of this.  He says I would be an ideal candidate and that I should strongly consider getting them so as to avoid a cornea transplant.  After some consideration I decided to go forward with the procedure and had the office send a letter to my insurance company for pre approval.  While waiting for the letter from the insurance company I had a conversation with an opthamology resident at my medical school and he told me that I had to make an appointment with his attending as there is a new procedure out that I must hear about.  He helped me get an appointment the following week and during that appointment the opthamologist talked to me about cross linking.  He says that this is going to become the standard of care for keratoconus however at the present time it is only in clinical trials in the USA.  He told me that I should go ahead with the Intacs in my left eye and also have the cross linking done to my right eye which was showing early signs of KC.  He went on to say that the trials protocol prohibit me from getting the cross linking done on my left eye after intacs placement for 6 months but that after that period has elapsed, I should get the crosslinking done on the left eye.

So last Thursday I had my Intacs placed in my left eye.  My opthalmologist used a laser to make the tunnel through the cornea.  After the anesthetic wore off it felt like a small pebble was in my eye and it started tearing profusely.  I went home and took a bunch of benadryl and went to sleep.  The following morning the foreign body sensation was still there but not nearly as bad.  I went in for my post op appointment and my vision was tested.  Before the Intacs I was 20/200 in my left eye.  After the Intacs I was 20/30!  Huge improvement!  I can actually read with my left eye.  The foreign body sensation was gone the next day as was the dryness.  I am one week out and loving my new vision.  People say that light sensitivity is a common side effect.  I experienced this the first day but after that its really not bad at all.  They gave me eye drops for it.  I just have to wear sunglasses when outside but hey we all should do that anyway.  Throughout the whole experience I never experienced any pain, only discomfort.

 

Yesterday I had the crosslinking done on my right eye.  This procedure consisted of the doctor numbing my eye and then scratching the cornea to disrupt the outer layer of cells.  After that they lied me back and spent 45 minutes putting riboflavin drops in my eye.  Then for the next 30 minutes they shined UV light in my eye in 15 second intervals.  I felt no discomfort throughout the procedure.  When I got home and the anesthetic wore off my eye was so incredibly uncomfortable.  The doctor forewarned me that this would be worse than the Intacs as with the intacs there is only a small incision whereas this procedure involved trauma to the entire surface of the cornea.  Let me tell you he was right.  My eye hurt when it was open it hurt when it was closed.  The whole time it felt like there were 12 rocks in my eye.  Eventually I took enough tylenol pm to fall asleep and when I awoke in the morning (today) the foreign body sensation was almost completely gone.  I went in for my followup and they tested my vision.  Before the crosslinking I was 20/25.  After the crosslinking I am 20/20 again.  

I had the crosslinking done at a very early stage of my KC as a preventative measure.  Only time will tell how effective it is but so far I am happy.  The intacs I am very happy with.  In two months I will be able to be fitted for soft GP contact lens and will never have trouble reading the projector in class again.  As of right now I am planning to have the cross linking done on my left eye as soon as I can in 6 months.  Despite the fact that it was extremely uncomfortable, it does seem to be the most promising treatment to prevent a cornea transplant as the crosslinking procedure causes the collagen molecules in the cornea to rearrange and become stronger.  

I would recommend either procedure to anyone with KC assuming their opthamologist thinks it is the best line of treatment.  The Intacs seem to have the greatest effect on improving your vision while the cross linking I think will be the best way to truly stop the progression of the disease.  I hope this helps and I will continue to update with progress. 

 



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Executive

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Posts: 155
Date: Sat Jul 30 8:40 AM, 2011
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KCGotMe, you have done very well to tackle the situation...with most treatments the results are better/there are more opinions early on. You write very well too!

Have a speedy recovery

Wayne



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Newbie

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Date: Sat Aug 20 9:56 AM, 2011
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Thank you for this personal report,

Im in next week for the first keraring and hope for the results you have gained.



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niki

Date: Sun Dec 18 10:54 AM, 2011
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Hi , last week i have undergone kerarings on my left eye.

the vision great but i feel a shade on the top of my eye at night (under lights).Is this notmal or the doctor has wrongly placed my upper ring segement.

 

please guys advice

thanks NIKI



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Veteran Member

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Posts: 97
Date: Sun Dec 18 2:49 PM, 2011
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Niki, its a good question!

Have you tried glasses or even contacts (may be soft lenses might be an option now) to get the best vision possible ? Someimes its a case of getting vision back but having to compromise a little. It might have been a great feat what you have got now comparted to before.

Sometimes repostioning a ring may help...sometimes even a small amount of laser treatment. It depends on what your surgeon says or has experience with.

Do your research as you got more options than it is usuially thought of!

KR



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Posts: 6
Date: Sun Dec 18 4:11 PM, 2011
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Hi Niki,

When I had my intacs placed, my ophthalmologist told me that a shade or a ring in your vision is normal, especially at night under lights. The way it was explained to me is that implant is minorly reflective so when there is light hitting your eye at the right angle, that light is reflected back onto your eye, thus the glare. They game alphagan drops to help that initially. The drops work by constricting pupils. This does not fix the problem but it did help. Let me tell you from personal experience, it gets better. I had my surgery in July of this year and now in December I have no issues what so ever. Eventually you just get used to it and phase it out. I honestly right now could not tell you if the glare is actually gone or if I am just desensitized to it. Either way, it no longer bothers me. On the topic of contacts, I was able to be fitted for soft contact lenses 2 months after. I rarely wear them as right now without them my left eye is 20/60 with no double vision and my right is 20/20 so the lenses for me are more hassle than they are worth. However they are a significant improvement over the old standard of care, the RGP hard contact lens. I wish you the best in your recovery.

Aaron

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Date: Sun Jan 29 2:58 AM, 2012
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Glad for your successful operation!  I got intacs done and they did nothing for my poor little right eye.  No improvement in my vision at all.  I thnik I was probably 20/200 in that eye.  I'm getting them removed and then getting a second opinion.

 



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NickwithKC


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Date: Sat Mar 10 8:05 PM, 2012
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I am sorry to hear that you did not receive the results you were hoping for.  I recently went in for my 6 month post-op evaluation for my intacs.  At 3 months out I was 20/60 in the eye.  At 6 months, miraculously I was 20/25!  My optometrist could not believe it, he even thought that I found a way to cheat on the visual acuity test.  This Thursday I am going in to get my left eye cross linked (the eye that already has intacs in).  I am not looking forward to it as I know how miserable my eye will feel for a day, however I am looking forward to having what I hope will be the last procedure on my eyes!



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