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Intacs For Keratoconus


A closer look at keratoconus.

   Keratoconus is a disease that causes a progressive thinning of the cornea, the clear front portion of the eye. As a result of this condition, the normal outward pressure from within the eye causes the cornea to progressively bulge into a cone-like shape. Keratoconus rarely results in total blindness although it can significantly impair vision and, according to experts, lead to the need for a corneal transplant in up to 20% of cases.   



While nobody knows the cause of keratoconus, there is evidence that the disease has genetic origins, possibly made worse by environmental factors. It normally affects both eyes, though it typically progresses at different rates. In most people, keratoconus begins during their teen years and slowly worsens before stabilizing in their 30’s or 40’s.

    Keratoconus is estimated to affect one in 2,000 people across all races. It is normally treatedwith rigid contact lenses to reshape and flatten the pronounced curve of the bulging cornea and to improve vision. A proper contact lens fit is crucial to obtain adequate vision and wearing comfort. Poorly fitting or outdated contact lenses can be uncomfortable and lead to additional complications like corneal abrasions, scarring or infection.

A closer look at Intacs.

     Intacs prescription inserts provide a unique new option to improve a patient’s vision and possibly defer a corneal transplant. Intacs are indicated for the correction of nearsightedness and astigmatism for patients with keratoconus, where contact lenses and glasses no longer provide suitable vision.

    For those keratoconic patients who are contact lens intolerant, Intacs prescription inserts offer a less threatening option than a corneal transplant. Most physicians would prefer to delay a corneal transplant – to make it the option of last resort. Intacs prescription inserts make this a possibility by improving functional vision, and possibly delaying the need for a corneal transplant.

Placing Intacs in the

periphery of the cornea

flattens the center by

restoring the natural

dome shape of the

cornea to improve vision.

Imagine your keratoconic cornea
as a tent with a curved top.

If the sides are pushed out, the
top is flattened slightly and the
dome shape is restored.

    The goal of the Intacs procedure is to provide the keratoconic patient with the ability to achieve improved functional vision with contact lenses or glasses and in some cases without them. In the few patients who later had a corneal transplant after having the Intacs procedure, their transplants were completed without any complications. Talk to your physician today to see if Intacs are right for you.*

Common questions.

 Will insurance cover this procedure? Insurance companies may cover all aspects of the procedure for keratoconus. Since this is a new indication, some insurers may not yet recognize this procedure for treating keratoconus. Addition Technology is working to educate insurers on the importance of the Intacs procedure for treating keratoconic patients. You and your doctor may, in some cases, also need to help educate your insurance company. For more information and assistance, please visit our website at

Where can I get more information?

   Important additional information has been provided with this brochure. Although your eye care professional is the best source of information, you may want to conduct your own research on keratoconus. A good place to begin is the National Institute of Health at


*As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks, including infection. Some patients experience visual symptoms including difficulty with night vision, glare, halos, blurry and fluctuating vision.


Humanitarian Device: Authorized by U.S. Federal law for use in the treatment of nearsightedness and astigmatism associated with keratoconus. The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated.



Change in BCVA in Keratoconus, 6 months or more post Intacs

BCVA change European KC Boxer Wachler Siganos Swanson
Gain ≥ 2 Lines 21/34 (59%) 33/74 (45%) 15/33 (45%) 78/108 (72%)
No Change 11/34 (32%) 38/74 (51%) 17/33 (52%) 27/108 (25%)
Loss ≤ 2 lines 2/34 (6%) 2/74 (3%) 1/33 (4%) 3/108 (3%)
BCVA = Best Corrected Vision