Your cornea is like a window that delivers light to your retina and brain, projecting a visual image. A healthy cornea is smooth and round in the center, becoming flatter towards its outer rim. Light rays pass directly through the normal cornea to the retina, and a clear image is transmitted to the brain. However, in keratoconus patients, the cornea is cone shaped, and its surface is also abnormal, sending a distorted image to the brain. Keratoconus usually starts at puberty, continuing to progress until the mid-thirties, when it slows down and then stops. During the ages of 12 to 35, keratoconus can halt and resume, and doctors cannot predict how swiftly it advances, or if it will stop. However, doctors do know that the more advanced keratoconus is in young patients, the likelier it will continue advancing to the point where they will need surgery.
Most keratoconus patients experience increasingly blurred vision, despite wearing glasses. When they visit their optometrist, the strength of their prescription escalates; in the beginning, keratoconus mimics typical visual degeneration. However, keratoconus patients experience poor vision at any distance, and their night vision is also impaired. Keratoconus patients can become highly sensitive to light, find that reading strains their eyes, or suffer from itchy eyes. Keratoconus patients see bright objects as cylinder-shaped pipes, and picture “ghost” mirages when looking at high-contrast images. Symptoms intensify in low-light conditions.
Dr. Moe Tarabey is highly specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of keratoconus. He will assess your medical history and visual symptoms, and then test your vision during a standard eye exam. If Dr. Tarabey suspects that keratoconus is causing your symptoms, he will measure your cornea’s curvature with a manual keratometer, which detects abnormal astigmatism. Dr. Tarabey has extensive experience diagnosing and treating keratoconus and can determine whether or not additional testing is necessary. Other tests that detect keratoconus include retinoscopy, computerized videokeratography, and slit-lamp examination of the cornea. Dr. Tarabey is one of the leading keratoconus optometrists in Edmonton, with (X?) years of experience as a keratoconus specialist.
A mild version of keratoconus is treatable with glasses or soft contact lenses, but the majority of patients will need rigid contact lenses to correct their vision. There are several kinds of highly specialized rigid contact lenses for the treatment of keratoconus, and an experienced contact lens fitter will recommend the best one for the patient’s condition. Glasses do not adequately correct keratoconus patients’ vision because they cannot conform to the shape of the eye.
People with keratoconus see far better with rigid contact lenses because they encase the cornea in a smooth, clear shell, projecting undistorted light rays to the retina. Keratoconus patients are usually treated with rigid contact lenses, but there are now innovative surgical techniques for people who cannot wear rigid contacts. Currently, the most advanced contact lens for the treatment of keratoconus is the “synergize hybrid contact lens,” which is rigid in the middle and softer around the edges, letting patients enjoy excellent vision and comfort.
Many keratoconus patients have a hard time wearing their contact lenses for longer periods of time because the cornea’s irregular surface makes it rub against the lenses, causing abrasion and light sensitivity in the eyes. People who have keratoconus also suffer from extremely dry eyes, and poor lubrication between the contact lens and the cornea makes wearing contact lenses extremely uncomfortable for patients. There are now several ways to treat severely dry eyes so that keratoconus patients can enjoy the benefits of wearing contact lenses.
Scleral contact lenses are large-diameter durable plastic lenses that transmit oxygen, and the MSD Scleral Contact Lens is the most advanced contact lens currently available for the treatment of keratoconus. This type of contact lens is not made to fit directly on the cornea, but on the Sclera, the white part of the eye. The Scleral Contact Lens is designed to vault over the entire corneal surface, creating a fluid chamber between the cornea and the inside of the contact lens. This fluid chamber continually bathes the cornea in unpreserved saline solution, reducing the problems keratoconus patients typically encounter while wearing contact lenses. In the past, many patients have had difficulty wearing their Rose K contact lenses (small diameter) for an extended period because the cornea’s irregularity causes it to rub against the lens, triggering abrasion and light sensitivity in the eyes. Keratoconus patients also suffer from extremely dry eyes, and without lubrication between the contact lens and the cornea, the patient becomes even more uncomfortable. Advances in Contact Lens technology have led to the development of scleral lenses that correct many incredibly complex eye conditions. Dr. Moe Tarabey has significant experience fitting various types of Scleral Contact Lenses for patients with Keratoconus, Pellucid Marginal Degeneration, severe dry eyes secondary to Sjogren’s Syndrome, Autoimmune Disorders, Graft-Versus Host Disease and Steven-Johnson Syndrome. The insertion, removal, and care of Scleral Contact Lenses is remarkably easy, and our Opticians are experienced Scleral Contact lens fitters and instructors. Nobody leaves our offices without knowing how to insert, remove and properly care for their contact lenses; we also provide thorough written instructions and frequent follow-ups. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at Thompson Optics
For patients who cannot wear contact lenses there is another option: Intacs are inserted into the cornea. Two micro-thin arching plastic implants are placed in the middle of the cornea to reshape it. This method was originally pioneered in France 8 years ago, and an Intralase laser is used to make the channels in the cornea where the plastic arcs are inserted.
Dr. Moe Tarabey attended University of Alberta where he received his Bachelor of Science degree with Honours. He subsequently earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from The InterAmerican University School of Optometry. Dr. Moe Tarabey is also a member of the Optometric Honour Society, Beta Kappa Sigma. Dr. Tarabey is interested in general primary care optometry and strives to provide thorough eye exams in a caring environment. His special interests in optometry include pediatrics, geriatrics, ocular pathology and contact lenses. Dr. Tarabey has 10 years experience in these areas of optometry, and keeps abreast of all the developments and advances in them. Dr. Moe Tarabey’s extensive experience in optometry is an asset to his patients, and we hope that you visit our clinic at Thompson Optics for a thorough eye exam and assessment of your eye health.