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Keratoconus Symptoms And Treatment Options

Keratoconus Symptoms And Treatment Options

Keratoconus Treatment 

The keratoconus prevalence in Najran-KSA Province was found to be 87.3 cases per 100,000 people with an incidence of 28.47 per 100,000 cases. That’s why, in this article, we discuss keratoconus treatment at Al Kahhal Medical Center and how much keratoconus treatment costs in Saudi Arabia. 

Understanding Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disorder that affects the cornea, causing it to thin and bulge into a cone-like shape. This condition can result in blurry vision and sensitivity to light, impacting daily activities such as driving and reading. 


Keratoconus usually begins during the teenage years and gradually worsens over time, affecting both eyes but typically with one eye more severe than the other. Later, we will let you know about the severe keratoconus treatment.

Common Symptoms of Keratoconus

The symptoms may vary in severity and can lead to significant visual impairment if left untreated, these symptoms are; 

  • Blurred or distorted vision.

  • Increased sensitivity to light.

  • Difficulty with night vision.

  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions.

  • Halos or streaking around lights.

  • Eye strain or irritation.

Regular eye exams are essential for early detection and management of keratoconus, to book a visit at Al Kahhal Medical Center, click here.

Diagnosis and Screening for Keratoconus 

Diagnostic Tools for Keratoconus

Eye care professionals diagnose keratoconus using various tools and tests, including:-

  • Corneal Topography: 

This mapping technique creates a detailed image of the cornea's shape, helping to identify any abnormalities characteristic of keratoconus.

  • Slit-Lamp Examination: 

This allows doctors to closely examine the cornea's structure and detect any thinning or bulging.

  • Pachymetry: 

This test measures the thickness of the cornea and can indicate thinning associated with keratoconus.

Screening Process for Keratoconus

During an eye exam, optometrists or ophthalmologists may look for signs of keratoconus based on symptoms reported by the patient. Additionally, specific screening tests like corneal topography and pachymetry can provide valuable information to confirm a diagnosis or monitor the progression of the condition. 


Early detection through regular screenings is crucial for timely intervention and management of keratoconus.

Non-Surgical Keratoconus Treatment

1- Contact Lenses for Keratoconus

Eye care professionals often recommend specialized contact lenses to improve vision in individuals with keratoconus. These lenses, such as rigid gas permeable (RGP) or scleral lenses, help to correct refractive errors caused by the irregular shape of the cornea. 


By providing a smooth, uniform surface for light to enter the eye, contact lenses can enhance visual acuity and quality of life for keratoconus patients.

2- Corneal Cross-Linking Therapy for Keratoconus

Corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive procedure that aims to strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of keratoconus. During this keratoconus treatment, riboflavin eye drops are applied to the cornea, which is then exposed to ultraviolet light. 


This process promotes the formation of additional cross-links within the corneal tissue, increasing its stability and resistance to further thinning or bulging. Corneal cross-linking therapy has shown promising results in slowing the advancement of keratoconus and preserving visual function over time.

Surgical keratoconus treatment 

1- Intracorneal Ring Segment Implantation

Eye surgeons may opt for intracorneal ring segment implantation to address keratoconus. This procedure involves inserting small, clear inserts into the cornea to reshape it and improve visual acuity. 


By flattening the cornea, the rings can help mitigate the irregular astigmatism associated with keratoconus, offering patients enhanced vision quality.

2- Corneal Transplant Surgery for Keratoconus

Another surgical approach for advanced cases of keratoconus is corneal transplant surgery. During this procedure, the damaged corneal tissue is replaced with a healthy donor cornea to restore visual function. 


Corneal transplants are often considered when other keratoconus treatments have proven ineffective, and they can significantly improve vision and quality of life for individuals with severe keratoconus.

keratoconus Treatment Cost in Saudi Arabia

Cost range for non-surgical keratoconus treatment

  • Custom Contact Lenses: The keratoconus treatment cost for specialized contact lenses typically ranges from $300 to $800 per pair.

  • Collagen Cross-Linking: The price for this non-invasive procedure in Saudi Arabia is usually between $1,000 to $2,500 per eye.

Surgical keratoconus treatment expenses in Saudi Arabia


Cost Range

Intracorneal Ring Segment Implantation

$2,000 - $5,000 per eye

Corneal Transplant Surgery

$3,000 - $7,000 per eye

Insurance Coverage for severe keratoconus treatment

Overview of Insurance Policies

When it comes to keratoconus treatment in Saudi Arabia, understanding insurance coverage is crucial. Most health insurance policies in the country provide coverage for various eye conditions and treatments. 


However, the extent of coverage and the specific keratoconus treatment included can vary significantly based on the insurance provider and the policy selected.

Available Coverage for keratoconus treatment

Insurance plans in Saudi Arabia may cover a portion of the expenses related to keratoconus treatment. Patients with keratoconus may find that non-surgical keratoconus treatments like custom contact lenses and collagen cross-linking are partially covered by their insurance. 


However, coverage for surgical interventions such as intracorneal ring segment implantation or corneal transplant surgery may also be included in some comprehensive insurance plans. It is advisable for patients to check their specific insurance policies to determine the extent of coverage for severe keratoconus treatment.


Importance of Early Diagnosis And keratoconus treatment

When it comes to severe keratoconus treatment in Saudi Arabia, understanding insurance coverage is crucial for patients. Most health insurance policies in the country offer various levels of coverage for keratoconus treatment, including non-surgical keratoconus treatment and surgical options. 


Patients should carefully review their insurance policies to determine the extent of coverage available for severe keratoconus treatment such as;

  • custom contact lenses.

  • collagen cross-linking.

  • intracorneal ring segment implantation.

  • corneal transplant surgery. 

Early diagnosis and treatment play a significant role in managing keratoconus effectively and preventing its progression, underscoring the importance of utilizing insurance coverage for timely interventions.

Future Advances in Keratoconus Management

As advancements in keratoconus management continue to evolve, it is essential for insurance policies in Saudi Arabia to adapt to cover emerging treatments and technologies.


At Al Kahhal Medical Center, we keep our patients informed about the latest developments in severe keratoconus treatment to ensure that their insurance coverage aligns with current best practices. 


By staying abreast of future advances in keratoconus management, patients can make well-informed decisions about their keratoconus treatment options and leverage insurance benefits for optimal care.

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