Many keratoconus patients come to EyeSight Hawaii to see Dr. Olkowski and Dr. Dash for their special training and experience.
Keratoconus (in Greek kerato=cornea and konos=cone) is a thinning of the cornea. The normally round cornea is shaped more like a cone causing the vision to be impaired. This is generally a slow progressing disorder that ranges from mild to severe. First, vision becomes blurred and distorted. In the early stages, the vision can be corrected with glasses, though frequent changes in the patient’s prescription is required. As the keratoconus progresses, glasses no longer work and contact lenses are required. Patients with more severe keratoconus are not even able to tolerate contact lenses and may require a corneal transplant.
Even if patients are able to wear contact lenses, they often need specialty lenses. Fittings for these lenses require special training and can require several visits as well as follow up visits once a lens has been chosen. Dr. Dash has the special training and experience to help these hard to fit patients. The most frequently used contact lenses for keratoconus patients are gas permeable lenses.
Intacs for Keratoconus Treatment
For many keratoconus patients, another option is FDA approved Intacs. Dr. Olkowski is one of the most experienced Intacs surgeons in Hawaii and has successfully placed them in many patients with nearsightedness and astigmatism. These tiny plastic rings can reduce and even eliminate the need for glasses and contacts.
For some keratoconus patients, a corneal transplant is necessary. Dr. Olkowski is a fellowship trained corneal specialist. He is also the only surgeon in Hawaii who has IntraLase’s Corneal Module which he uses in some corneal transplants and has been seeing wonderful results.
Corneal Collagen Cross Linking
This promising new procedure has enjoyed success in Europe and is now FDA-approved in the United States.
During the corneal collagen cross-linking procedure the corneal epithelium is removed and riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, drops are applied to the eye. Once the cornea has been saturated with the riboflavin, it is exposed to UVA light. The light and the riboflavin interact and produce oxygen molecules. These molecules cause chemical bonds to form between and within the corneal collagen fibrils, resulting in the fibrils becoming more stiff and the cornea more stable.