The Doctor's Doctor - Dr. Mandel

All About Keratoconus

Have you been diagnosed with keratoconus? Want to learn more about the eye condition? If so, you have come to the right place. In this blog post, Mark Mandel, M.D., corneal specialist at Optima Eye, explains what keratoconus is and how it can be treated.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition in which the cornea thins.  Over time, the cornea begins to bulge into a cone-like shape instead of maintaining its normal round shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing vision problems such as blurred vision, distorted vision, glare, increased sensitivity to light and mild eye irritation. People with keratoconus often have difficulty driving, using a computer and reading.

Keratoconus affects two out of every 1,000 individuals. In its early stages, the eye condition may be hard to detect, and if left untreated, it can eventually lead to permanent vision loss. Keratoconus can affect one or both eyes and often begins during a person’s teens or early 20s.

Risk Factors for Keratoconus

It is not entirely clear yet what causes keratoconus, but known risk factors for the eye condition include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Overexposure to UV rays
  • Excessive eye rubbing
  • Chronic eye irritation
  • History of poorly fitted contact lenses

Treatment for Keratoconus

In the early stages of keratoconus, prescription glasses or contact lenses can help treat the condition. Often, as the condition progresses and the cornea continues to thin, glasses can no longer correct vision while contacts may become impossible to wear due to the bulging shape of the cornea.

For advanced stages of keratoconus, Dr. Mandel may recommend vision correction surgery with Intacs. Intacs are tiny plastic inserts placed in the mid-periphery of the cornea. The plastic segments helps reshape the cornea, which helps the contact lens to fit better.

Dr. Mandel offers vision correction surgery with Intacs for patients with keratoconus. In fact, he was the first surgeon in Northern California to perform Intacs surgery. Sometimes, if Intacs and contact lenses cannot correct the vision, a corneal transplant may restore vision.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about keratoconus or to find out if you are a suitable candidate for vision correction surgery using Intacs or a corneal transplant, schedule a one-on-one appointment with us. Please contact Optima Eye by emailing us at

Related Posts

Keratoconus Treatment with iLink™ Corneal Cross-Linking

Keratoconus treatment in Hayward
When the shape of the cornea changes, your vision may suffer in the process. This is often the case with keratoconus, a condition that occurs when the cornea takes on a cone-like shape. Fortunately, iLink™ Corneal Cross-Linking is a treatment option for keratoconus. Bay area corneal specialist, Mark Mandel, MD, is a trusted professional with years of experience performing successful eye procedures. Learn more about this advanced procedure below.
Read More

Treating Keratoconus with Intacs™: What You Should Know

Intacs™ in Castro Valley
Keratoconus is an eye condition characterized by the outward bulging of the cornea, which also gets thinner as this occurs. Once the cornea has morphed from a rounded shape to a cone shape, it can cause a host of other issues, such as blurry vision, light sensitivity, and contact lens intolerance. The condition often progresses slowly over the years but is generally detectable as early as the teenage years. Patients with this condition may be confused about their treatment options; however, a path to clear vision is possible, even with keratoconus. Mark Mandel, MD, treats keratoconus with Intacs™ to improve the vision with contact lenses and possibly the quality of life of keratoconus patients at our practice locations in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Jose, and Concord. Get in touch with us to schedule your consultation. Learn more about the procedure below.
Read More