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Keratoconus Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia

Keratoconus is a rare, progressive disease that affects the cornea, which is the clear, transparent layer at the front of the eye.

Meet Our Keratoconus Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia

Dr.-Nazanin-Khadem

Nazanin Khadem, OD

Dr. Nazanin Khadem is originally from Woodstock, GA. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Kennesaw State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology. She graduated from Rosenberg School of Optometry in 2014. She completed her clinical externships in ocular disease at Malcolm Randall VA medical center in Gainesville, Florida and LASIK, cataract and cross-linking pre and post-operative care at Dell Laser consultant in Austin, Texas. Her emphasis is on primary care optometry, ocular disease, and contact lens. She finds fitting specialty contact lenses especially rewarding. " It's that reaction from patients when they finally can see clear - it's worth every second of them sitting in my office!" In her free time, Dr. Khadem enjoys running, paddle boarding.

Why did Dr. Khadem decide to become an optometrist? "I was sitting in my optometrist’s office, waiting to be seen. And it was just an 'Aha!' moment for me - that this is a very nice field, and I do like helping people. I’m also very bubbly and social - I like interaction! Also, I have been wearing glasses since I was five or six years old, so that’s one doctor I never minded going to, ever since I was little."

 

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Dr. Cynthia A. Cieszko OD

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM DR. CIESZKO

I have enjoyed caring for you and your families over the years. With a lot of joy, and some sadness, I am writing to let you know of my intention to retire. I have been honored to provide eyecare to a wonderful group of patients. You all have touched my heart and taught me so much throughout the years. I have shared in your lives and watched your children grow into adults, marry, and have children. I have always tried to provide the best care for my patients, and I hope I have given you a fraction of the blessings you all have given me.

I will be turning the ownership of Perimeter Eye Group over to Dr. Anisha Haji owner of Atlanta Eye Group. Dr. Haji is the owner of the Lenscrafters practices at Town Center Mall, Cumberland Mall, and Lenox Mall. I know you will be in good hands; Dr. Haji truly cares about her patients.

I will be here during the transition and will be working with Dr. Haji to help her get to know you and your optometric needs. Rest assured Dr. Khadem, Natasha, Carlos, Jana, Jordan, and Taylor will still be here to provide the level of personalized care that you have come to expect. I hope that you will continue your care with Atlanta Eye Group.

I understand that some of you may want to select a new optometrist outside of the practice. Please be assured that my staff and I will do everything we can to make the transition smooth and stress free. Your medical records are confidential and will remain on file with Atlanta Eye Group. If you choose another optometrist with Atlanta Eye Group, you do not need to take any action concerning your records. If you choose an optometrist outside of Atlanta Eye Group, you will need to sign an authorization form before we can release your medical records. Please note, by law we cannot share your medical information without your written consent. You may sign this form at my office or you may complete the necessary paperwork at your first visit with your new doctor.

It has been a great pleasure meeting and caring for all of you. I sincerely appreciate your friendship and loyalty. I wish you continued good health and all the best in the coming years.

Cynthia A. Cieszko, OD

Our Doctor Can Diagnosis and Treat Keratoconus

Your cornea is the transparent, outer lens of your eye, and it typically has a smooth dome shape. Keratoconus describes a condition in which the corneal structure isn’t strong enough to maintain a healthy ball shape.

Meet with our Keratoconus Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia to define your eye's condition and ways for treatment.

As a result, the cornea bulges outward into more of a cone. Our professional optometric team at our eye care clinic is knowledgeable about how to diagnose and treat keratoconus.

Keratoconus is rare, with an estimated one person out of every 2,000 having the condition. It generally appears in the teenage years and can progress slowly or rapidly.

Keratoconus also runs in families, so if you or your children are at risk, it’s advised to contact us for a thorough eye exam.

Causes of Keratoconus

Your cornea is held in place by very small collagen fibers. When they are weakened and too fragile, they aren’t able to preserve the round shape of your cornea.

A reduction in the protective antioxidants of your cornea, which act to destroy damaging by-products made naturally by corneal cells, is what causes keratoconus.

In addition to genetics, some types of eye injuries may increase your chance of being diagnosed with keratoconus.

Specific ocular diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, vernal keratoconjunctivitis and retinopathy of prematurity, as well as some systemic conditions (Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Leber's congenital amaurosis and osteogenesis imperfecta) are also associated with this corneal abnormality.

Our Keratoconus Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia has years of experience identifying the various levels of keratoconus and other corneal conditions.

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Symptoms of Keratoconus

When the shape of your cornea begins to bulge, it alters your eyesight in two different ways. As the cone shape forms, your normally smooth corneal surface becomes wavy, called irregular astigmatism. Additionally, as your cornea expands, vision becomes increasingly nearsighted. Focusing becomes impossible without eyeglasses or contact lenses. Usually, the problems begin in one eye and develop later in the other eye too.

Typically, patient’s eyeglass prescription will change often as the vision becomes worse and contact lenses will be difficult to wear due to discomfort and improper fit.

When keratoconus become more severe (which usually takes a long time however on occasion can happen rather quickly), the cornea can begin to swell and form scar tissue. This scar tissue can result in even further visual distortion and blurred vision.

Altogether, these changes can create the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Streaking of lights
  • Halos around bright lights at night; glare
  • Sudden change of vision in only one eye
  • Objects appear distorted, both near and distant
  • Double vision from just one eye
  • Triple ghost images

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How We Diagnose Keratoconus

Our eye doctors will inspect carefully for the signs of keratoconus during your comprehensive eye exam. It’s critical to inform us of any symptoms that you’ve been experiencing. To diagnose the condition, we’ll measure the shape of your cornea. Computerized Corneal Topography is used for this procedure, which takes a picture of your cornea and analyzes it instantly.

Treatment for Keratoconus

The first line of treatment is usually new prescription eyeglasses. If this solution doesn’t help you achieve good vision, then contact lenses will be tried. Rigid, gas permeable lenses are typically prescribed.

As the disease progresses, however, glasses and soft contact lenses may no longer correct vision and soft lenses may become uncomfortable. This is when other forms of vision correction will be recommended.

Gas Permeable and Scleral Contact Lenses

At the more advanced stage of keratoconus rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, scleral or semi-scleral lenses may be used for increased comfort and visual acuity. Since they are more rigid, RGP and scleral lenses are able to create a smooth, round shape around the cornea, creating a smoother surface for better vision.

Scleral or semi-scleral lenses have a larger diameter which covers the entire cornea and reaches over into the white part of the eye, which is known as the sclera.

Many patients find these more comfortable than regular RGPs and find that they move around less when the eyes move. The main disadvantage of these rigid lenses is that for some, they are somewhat less comfortable than soft lenses and they must be continually refitted as the shape of the eye changes.

Whether it is glasses or contact lenses being used to correct vision, patients will likely have to undergo many tests and prescription changes as their vision needs to change.

Intacs

Intacs are small, surgically implanted plastic inserts which are placed on the cornea to flatten it back to shape. Usually they are able to restore clear vision, with the continued use of glasses. Intacs are often recommended when contact lenses and eyeglasses are no longer able to correct vision adequately. Intacs take about 10 minutes to insert and can delay the need for corneal transplant.

PTK for severe keratoconus

Severe keratoconus may lead to extreme scarring, due to overstretched collagen fibers. If the back of your corneas tears as a result, swelling may occur. It can take months for the swelling to go down, and a large scar is generally created. PTK, a specialized procedure, can smooth out this scar, thereby enhancing contact lens comfort.

Cornea collagen crosslinking

Cornea collagen crosslinking is another therapy that has shown to be effective in slowing the progression of keratoconus. An alternate remedy is called intacs, which are semicircular implants inserted under the surface of the cornea to flatten the bulging cone shape and give better vision.

Cornea Transplant

As a last resort, a cornea transplant may be performed. During this procedure, the center of your cornea will be removed and replaced with a donor cornea. The new cornea is stitched into place, and you’ll need to wear contact lenses for adequate vision after the surgery.

Dangers of LASIK and Keratoconus

LASIK can potentially weaken the cornea of anyone who suffers from keratoconus, making it a dangerous procedure. If this happens, your vision will become substantially worse. Even if your keratoconus is mild, LASIK is not an option.

Our Keratoconus Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia is happy to meet with you for a 1-on-1 consultation to get you back on the path to reaching clear vision.

Meet with Our Keratoconus Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia