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Keratoconus Specialist

Stephen Khachikian, MD -  - Ophthalmologist

Stephen Khachikian, MD

Ophthalmologist located in Rapid City, SD

If you suffer from keratoconus, your corneas bulge out in a cone shape. If keratoconus isn’t treated, your vision could grow cloudy, blurry, or distorted. But, with help from a highly skilled ophthalmologist like Stephen Khachikian, MD, in Rapid City, South Dakota, you can enjoy normal vision now and for a lifetime. Book your appointment online or by phone today.


What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an ocular condition in which your cornea thins out and grows steeper until eventually resembling a cone. Keratoconus can cause serious vision issues, so it’s always best to get diagnosis and treatment as soon as you notice symptoms.


What are the symptoms of keratoconus?

Keratoconus can cause several different symptoms, including:

  • Frequently changing prescriptions
  • Significant astigmatism levels
  • Cloudy vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Light and glare sensitivity

Generally, keratoconus symptoms appear before age 25. Often, keratoconus progresses quite gradually, so some patients may not notice significant symptoms until they're middle-aged.


How does the eye doctor diagnose keratoconus?

Dr. Khachikian reviews your history, discusses symptoms with you, and performs a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose keratoconus. You'll typically have:

  • Eye refraction tests to check your vision
  • Slit-lamp exam to evaluate your cornea shape
  • Keratometry to evaluate your cornea shape through light reflection
  • Computerized corneal mapping to map the surface of your cornea and check corneal thickness

Through exams and testing, Dr. Khachikian can accurately diagnose keratoconus. If you do have keratoconus, Dr. Khachikian can determine its severity. In most cases, there are excellent solutions to prevent your keratoconus from progressing further.


How is keratoconus treated?

Keratoconus treatment is based on severity and your symptoms. 


In the earliest stage of keratoconus, when you have only minor symptoms, you may not need special treatment beyond vision correction. But, you may need to update your eyeglasses prescription more often than someone who doesn't have keratoconus.

Contact Lenses

As your symptoms progress, you may need special rigid contact lenses that correct your vision while also delaying further progression of your keratoconus. Scleral contact lenses may also work well for keratoconus sufferers because they cover a bigger portion of the eye, allowing the lens to essentially vault over the keratoconus bulge without getting dislodged.

Intacs® implants

Intacs are another option for keratoconus sufferers. Dr. Khachikian surgically implants the small Intac in the cornea, where it helps to remodel the tissue by flattening the cone.

Collagen cross-linking

Dr. Khachikian uses riboflavin eye drops and UV light to trigger the creation of new links between the collagen fibers inside your cornea. This can stabilize your cornea and restrict further keratoconus growth.

Corneal surgery

In a cornea transplant, Dr. Khachikian replaces part or all of your cornea with donor tissue. Corneal surgery is usually reserved for severe keratoconus.

Dr. Khachikian can prescribe the ideal keratoconus solution for you. Book your appointment online or by calling the office of Stephen Khachikian, MD, today.