Alternative medicine describes practices and techniques which are used outside the bounds of traditional medicine. These often rely upon cures that have spiritual or metaphysical explanations as well as nutritional cures which have not yet been proven to be effective by rigorous testing.
As keratoconus is a rare disease with treatment that is sometimes considered inadequate, alternative medicine is often sought by those afflicted by keratoconus. People with keratoconus hope that alternative medicine can either provide a cure or else provide relief for the symptoms of keratoconus. Unfortunately, alternative medicine is largely unproven and often cannot provide evidence of success. Alternative medicine can be dangerous if utilized in exclusion of traditional medicine.
Currently, most alternative medicine treats keratoconus through the use of eye drops. These eye drops might contain substances such as antioxidants or vitamins that are explained to strengthen the corneal cross-linking within the cornea. Other compounds might contain plant derivatives or eye lubricants that are rumored to improve the surface of the cornea and therefore preserve the cornea. Other alternative medicine could provide improved circulation or better transport of nutrients to the cornea.
These treatments have not been proven and a competent eye care professional should be consulted before beginning treatment with these substances. In many cases, the eye drops will cause no harm but it is important that your eye doctor is aware that you are using alternative medicine treatments for keratoconus. In some cases, it might be possible that the eye drops are actually dangerous or could have negative effects upon your vision or the health of your eye.
One treatment for keratoconus that is gaining some recognition is called Corneal Collagen Crosslinking with Riboflavin. This treatment might be considered a form of alternative medicine as it is not completely accepted among ophthalmologists as being of benefit to patients who are being treated for keratoconus. This method works by increasing collagen cross-linking within the cornea. This treatment might be combined with Intacs to provide a combined effect and provide greater stability than intacs treatment alone. A riboflavin solution is applied to the cornea. Following application, UV light is used to trigger a reaction within the cornea. Practitioners who use this treatment believe that the riboflavin solution, when activated, improves the overall strength of the cornea and can reverse the effects of keratoconus.
There is some evidence that suggests that this treatment might be beneficial. Thus far, other forms of alternative medicine are either not beneficial or else not proven to be beneficial in the treatment of keratoconus.