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Who to See for KC?

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Who should you see for your KC? An ophthalmologist? Optometrist? Both?

NKCF does not recommend one type of eye doctor over the other. The most beneficial situation is one where professionals work as a team to bring you the best treatment and outcome. It is extremely important to develop a good relationship with your eye care professionals because you will be seeing a great deal of them.

An ideal practice should have specialized equipment to monitor the progression of KC and experienced professionals to prescribe custom contact lenses.

Eye Care Types:

Ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists are medical or osteopathic doctors (MD or DO) who are licensed to practice medicine and surgery.

Training:

After college, ophthalmologists attend four years of medical school and four years of additional training (residency) to specialize in vision disorders and disease of the eye. They may take an additional year of fellowship training in a subspecialty like the cornea.

While ophthalmologists provide primary eye care, they specialize in medical and surgical treatments.

Only ophthalmologists can perform transplants or crosslinking.

Optometrists

Optometrists are doctors of optometry (OD) who provide primary eye care.

Training:

After college, optometrists attend four years of optometry school and may elect to take an additional year of residency in specialties like contact lenses and cornea.

Optometrists who treat KC patients have expertise monitoring progression of disease and prescribing contact lenses that provide optimal vision and comfort.

Contact Lens Technicians (Opticians)

Contact lens technicians have special training in fitting contact lenses.

Many ophthalmologists and optometrists rely on these skilled technicians to design and fit customized contact lenses.

These technicians cannot serve as your primary eye care provider; however, they work with your eye doctor to come up with creative solutions to vision problems resulting from KC.

Captain of Your Team

Good doctors can disagree on the best KC treatment plan. What is important is that you decide which doctor makes the most sense for you and follow through.

Only you can control what happens between visits.

Pay attention to changes in your vision. If you experience worsening blurring, scratchiness or irritation, contact your eye doctor immediately.

Always keep your appointments. If your eye doctor advises you to schedule a progress visit, keep that appointment.

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