Austin Eye prides itself in staying on top of the latest treatment methods for eye conditions, including keratoconus, a condition that affects the clear front portion of the eye (the cornea). Proper treatment for keratoconus varies and depends on how far the condition has progressed. At Austin Eye, we offer a proven safe and effective option for long-term vision correction: Intacs corneal inserts.
Keratoconus is a condition in which the curvature of the cornea bulges and becomes abnormally steep. As the condition progresses, vision becomes impaired significantly and contact lens use becomes difficult. Other symptoms of keratoconus include blurry vision, light sensitivity, glare, headaches and difficulty driving at night.
In its early stages, keratoconus can be managed with contact lenses. In its most advanced stage, corneal transplants may be necessary. However, for patients who have keratoconus that can no longer be managed with contact lenses but do not yet require corneal transplants, Intacs corneal inserts can be a viable solution.
How Intacs Inserts Work
Intacs corneal inserts are small plastic inserts placed just under the surface of the eye and work by reshaping the cornea. As the Intacs flatten the cornea, the light rays that enter the eye are refocused and vision is improved. Intacs are made of the same biocompatible material as intraocular lens implants (IOLs). They come in different levels of thickness. A thicker ring offers greater flattening correction while a thinner ring offers more mild improvement. Prior to your procedure, our team will evaluate your eyes and the severity of your condition in order to determine what amount of vision correction you need.
The Intacs procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that only takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete in our office. Before placing the Intacs, your eyes will be numbed with eye drops to keep you comfortable through the procedure. To begin the placement process, we will make a tiny incision on the surface of the cornea. We will create a tunnel through the cornea’s stroma layer, avoiding the central optical zone. We will then insert the Intacs through the tunnel and onto the central layer. The incision is then closed with a small suture.
Intacs corneal implants are designed to provide long-term vision improvement from keratoconus, potentially postponing the needed for corneal transplantation. The procedure is reversible; if the Intacs do not provide the desired amount of vision correction, or in case of a (rare) problem, they can be removed and exchanged. If Intacs are removed, your eyesight will return to its pre-Intacs state within three months.
Schedule an Appointment with Austin Eye
If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus and would like to learn whether Intacs corneal inserts can improve your vision, schedule an appointment with Austin Eye. Our team of eye specialists have extensive experience and training in diagnosing and treating keratoconus. During your appointment, we can evaluate your condition, medical history and visual needs in order to determine the best treatment plan for you. Schedule a one-on-one appointment by calling our North office at (512) 250-2020 or our Central office at (512) 454-2020.