Keratoconus: My Struggles in Last Few Years
I was diagnosed with keratoconus when I was 21, in 2008, but my doctor at the time did not really explain any proper care or future problems I might face. I left his office with a prescription that suited me fine but immediately went home to google more about it.
I got scared that I would need a cornea transplant and was 100% sure I was going to go blind. My prescription didn't change for a few years, but in 2013 I saw a doctor that recommended I see a specialist. I didn't have the money or insurance coverage at the time so I just got a new prescription help me see.
I noticed my vision was getting progressively worse and I was having a hard time driving at night, to the point where I wasn't even feeling safe to drive at night. I switched doctors in October of 2014 and was recommended that I switch to contact lenses. My vision in my left eye was very poor that they even recommended a hard lens. I was hesitant, but it was to the point where I wouldn't even drive at night. I had to do trial lenses for 5 months before they found a pair that was the right fit and I could actually see with.
I hated my contacts, they were dry, the itched all the time and I was constantly blinking and rolling my eyes to the point where people thought I was annoyed with them. I started doing research on corneal cross linking and consulted with my primary eye doctor on the different procedures. I found a doctor in California that was doing a trial for epi-on corneal crosslinking. I read that there were very minor side effects and the results could cause some vision repair, but usually caused the deterioration of the cornea to stop.
In November of 2015 I had the procedure in both of my eyes. They said it would hurt that night but should be fine by morning, when morning came my left eye was hurting more than it had been the night before, we went back for my check up and they said I had gotten a corneal abrasion during the procedure, due to the UV light they shine on the eye. They said it should heal within two weeks but I should refrain from wearing my contact and possibly wear an eye patch to shield it from the light.
Unfortunately my eye keeps having reoccurring corneal abrasions but I have been refitted 3 times now with my contact and seem to have them less frequently. In November 2016 I had my one year follow up and it seems my vision hasn't changed, which is a good thing.
I can't see much with my glasses or with nothing but my vision is pretty good with my contacts. I struggle less with them than I did two years ago and although my keratoconus has been a struggle in the last few years, I have tried to be an advocate and have found others that struggle so they know they aren't alone. I am very thankful for the really great group of doctors and friends I have met on my journey!
Brittany Eason (@brit_ta_nee)