What is Keratoconus?

I Hate These Blurred Lines

Before I start with the righteous posting about my journey, self worth and all the other nonsense, it’s probably best to start explaining what the condition is. Firstly, Keratoconus does not mean I’m going to transform into this:

kerry katona celebrity big brotherKerry Katona, not Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a disorder which affects the surface of the eye (cornea) which causes it to thin out and form a cone-like shape as opposed to the normal, curved surface. Effectively, it turns the front of my eye into something like this:

Keratoconus.svgEffect of Keratoconus on the surface of the eye

It doesn’t seem like much of a big deal. So I’ve got slightly pointy eyes. Spock had slightly pointy ears, but it seemed to work out ok for him, right? Unfortunately not. The cone-shaped curvature and rough surface (sadly it does not thin out evenly across the cornea) means that the light that enters the eye is…

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Playing the Waiting Game

I Hate These Blurred Lines

So at the end of the last post I was now waiting a year to see how the keratoconus was progressing. At the time, the consultant in the hospital also said that if I experienced any discomfort or troubles to get back in touch and make another appointment. That was May 2012.

My son was born in June 2012. This is quite an important event for more than the obvious reason. As the year progressed, I started to struggle more and more with my eyesight, even with the new prescription that I got in my initial opticians appointment. At first, I put this down to being a new father.


But then fortunately for myself and my wife, our son developed a liking for sleep after just a few months and our own sleep began to return. The struggles with the eyesight did not disappear. In late October, a long late…

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CXL – The Procedure

I Hate These Blurred Lines

As I mentioned in the What Is Keratoconus page, keratoconus (KC) is an eye condition where the structure of the cornea distorts, thins out and becomes cone-shaped. One of the more recent and successful treatments in halting the progression of KC is corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL). The following video is a pretty good in describing, and then showing, the procedure itself. If you want to skip to the uncomfortable cutting bits and avoid the boring words, it’s from 1.00 onwards.

This technique is designed to ‘fix’ the collagen in the cornea in place so that progression is halted. It does that by reacting the collagen with riboflavin in order to cross link the polymer structure and make it more rigid.

Danger! Ahead be Chemistry!

The mechanism of this reaction was investigated in 2010 by McCall et al. who looked at a variety of pathways and elucidated which one was the…

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Corneal Collagen Cross Linking (CXL)

I Hate These Blurred Lines

Continuing the story, I had been referred to East Grinstead’s Queen Victoria Hospital for corneal collagen cross linking (CXL) in my left eye. I’m going to split this up into two parts – the what happened (this one) and the science bit (the other one). Just so that if you’re not interested in the science behind the procedure, or watching the procedure itself, you can ignore that part!

East Grinstead is a bit of a pain to get to. It’s either a trek around the M25 in the car or a cross-London (and subsequently ridiculously priced) train journey. However if you know when you’re going, you can get the train fare down by booking online and I managed to get most journeys to QVH down to £25.

My first appointment with the doctors there was remarkably pleasant. They appeared knowledgeable, far more so than those at…

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My Point Of View

A Quest For Happiness

kc_blurred_visionThe photo to the left is how I see the world with Keratoconus, even with my high prescription glasses. Well, this how I see with my right eye (the good one), my left eye is even worse. This makes my life a lot difficult at times. u_u

I can’t read a real book anymore, which was something that I loved to do once upon a time. I have a Kindle for reading, as I can adjust the font to “grandma” size, however it’s not the same as turning the actual pages and smelling the fresh ink of a hard copy book. I get bored with my Kindle, with half of the fun experience of reading stripped away, and haven’t finished a book in a few years now.

Writing emails, blogs, and novels take effort for me to do. I can’t spend as many hours doing so, as my eyes will…

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Avarielle's Keratoconus blog

So I woke up around 7+ this morning and lazed around. I played Skyrim to kill time. Then went to order McDonalds breakfast delivery to eat – and processed a photo while i ate. After that, it was almost time to go.

(The eye centre had called the day before and said that I had to be there by 11am)

Took a nice long shower and scrubbed the life out from my hair, since I didn’t know when I would next get to wash my hair.

Then it was off to the eye centre. Along the way, I laughed like crazy at every thing.

Observe: we were driving behind a Ferrari and the mother asked why was there a horse brand car. I literally laughed till I cried at it.

Anyway we got to the eye centre and just waited and waited.

Then i went into have my eyes tested…

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My Eye!

Big Girl In A Small World


I had my Corneal Cross-Linking done last week. It was a trying experience since I had to watch the whole thing. I say that because they do not put you to sleep. They use a reverse clamp to hold your eye open, add some numbing drops and then do what they do. They sterilized my eye using giant betadine swabs. There were a lot of drops and then he cleaned cells off of my eye using an alcohol solution and a cotton swab on a stick. Then, there were more drops followed by some pics on a machine, more drops and then 2,000,000 mins (or 5 mins) under the UVA lamp including two breaks for more drops. Then, they placed a contact bandage and we were done.
I got the bandage removed today and found out that I have to be without contacts for another week; that’ll be 3wks total…

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