Ryan, 26, has always been passionate about health and wellness. He takes care of his body by working out every day and eating well, so when he began to experience vision issues that impacted his day-to-day life, Ryan became worried. When he learned that he was living with progressive keratoconus, Ryan was surprised, but he was eager to treat his condition. He was determined to avoid missing out on all of the things that he enjoyed doing, such as exercising, spending time with friends, and his studies.

Trying His Best to Cope

Several years ago, when Ryan was 23 and studying business and marketing as a college student at California State University, Northridge, he started noticing changes in his eyesight. When driving at night, it was difficult to see clearly, which was nerve-wracking for him. He was also struggling to see the board during lectures. When he tried to unwind at the beach, Ryan felt left out when he couldn’t see the football his friends were tossing around. Eventually, Ryan visited his eye doctor, Dr. Aaron Sako at La Paz Optometry in Laguna Hills, CA and was given a prescription for eyeglasses.

Although some of his vision issues persisted with the glasses, Ryan tried to adjust and carry on with his normal life as best as he could. However, as an active person, Ryan found the glasses to be cumbersome while working out at the gym. One year after receiving his glasses, he returned to his eye doctor for a routine checkup and inquired about LASIK. Ryan was thrown a curveball when he learned that he was not a candidate for LASIK because he had progressive keratoconus in both eyes.

Ryan, who had never heard of keratoconus before, was surprised to find out he was living with a progressive eye condition in which the cornea weakens and thins over time, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. Ryan learned that his condition could result in significant visual loss and could lead to corneal transplant in severe cases – something he wanted to avoid at all costs.

Making Decisions for Himself

Concerned about the progression of Ryan’s condition, Dr. Sako referred him to Dr. Duna Raoof at NVision in Newport Beach, CA for further evaluation and treatment. Ryan quickly made an appointment to see Dr. Raoof where he underwent a series of tests. It wasn’t long before his progressive keratoconus diagnosis was confirmed. Dr. Raoof warned Ryan that if the condition was not treated, it would continue to progress. Ryan immediately became worried, knowing his keratoconus could impact his life and livelihood as an athlete if he did not act quickly. For these reasons, when Dr. Raoof recommended Ryan receive iLink® FDA-approved cross-linking to slow or halt the progression of his keratoconus, he took advantage of the opportunity to be treated.

Although Ryan was nervous prior to the procedure, he found it to be easy. His left eye was treated with iLink® on November 2, 2021, and then his right eye was treated one month later on December 7, 2021. Following each procedure, Ryan took it easy for a few days during his recovery period. He was able to work on his computer and watch TV, and experienced minimal pain. He also had some blurry vision, however, he had been prepared for that before the procedure, so he did not mind. Ryan was particularly thrilled that within days after each treatment he was able to return to the gym.

“Your Health Is Your Wealth”

Now, following his recovery period, Ryan is wearing his glasses and will soon be fitted with scleral lenses to help improve his vision[1]. He feels incredibly grateful that his keratoconus was caught early and that he was able to take the necessary steps to slow or halt the progression of his condition. Before the procedures, Ryan was worried that his eyesight might impact his future. Now, having been treated, he is excited and optimistic about what is to come. Ryan can once again enjoy his active and healthy lifestyle and feels more confident at work and the gym knowing his vision isn’t a concern anymore. He’s also eager to share his experience with others, and he hopes that anyone who has progressive keratoconus understands the importance of timely treatment – after all, as he says, “your health is your wealth.”


[1] Kreps, E. O., Pesudovs, K., Claerhout, I., & Koppen, C. (2021). Mini-Scleral Lenses Improve Vision-Related Quality of Life in Keratoconus. Cornea, 40(7), 859–864.


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The results described on this site are based on data collected regarding short- and intermediate-term efficacy of treatment. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.