Have you heard of keratoconus? The little-known eye disease has gained some repercussion due to Big Brother Brazil, Globo TV reality show that debuted last Tuesday, 15. Gustavo Soares, a participant in the 19th edition of the program, revealed that the disease causes the The membrane of the front of the eye is shaped like a cone. In order not to lose sight, Gustavo had to perform a corneal transplant.
What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a disease called continuous and progressive dystrophy that occurs in the cornea when it is cone-shaped. Although not fully explained, it may be related to genetic and hereditary factors. Its most common appearance occurs at puberty, usually between the ages of 13 and 18, progressing for approximately 6 to 8 years, and after that period, it tends to remain stable.
According to ophthalmologist Sérgio Felberg, a member of the Brazilian Council of Ophthalmology, among the most common risk factors, eye scratching, especially in patients with chronic ocular allergy, seems to be the most dangerous habit that may aid in the development of keratoconus. "There are several treatments to stabilize keratoconus and to restore these patients' eyesight, and corneal transplantation is the last resort when all others have not been successful," says the expert.
Treatment for keratoconus
In simpler cases, the use of glasses, hypertonic saline or therapeutic contact lenses are sufficient to improve visual acuity and to level the cornea. In more advanced cases, rigid contact lenses can be successfully adapted. However, if medical evaluation recognizes that such treatments are not effective due to severity, the patient should perform corneal transplantation.
The participant of the BBB 19, Gustavo Soares, discovered that he had keratoconus around the age of 20, while attending Medicine. As the disease was already at an advanced stage, he needed a corneal transplant not to lose sight. The procedure came after a year and a half in the queue. Due to illness, he decided to specialize in Ophthalmology.