Meet Our Keratoconus Specialist in Houston, TX
Dr. Kelsea Skidmore grew up in Greenville, TX. She attended the University of Arkansas and was a member of the Razorback swim team. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a Master’s degree in Vision Science, and graduated summa cum laude with a Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston. Dr. Skidmore was a member of the Gold Key International Honor Society, and a member of the International Optometric Honor Society, Beta Sigma Kappa. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, as well as a Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society.
Dr. Skidmore is a therapeutic optometrist and optometric glaucoma specialist. She is trained in the medical management of a variety of ocular conditions including conditions such as glaucoma, dry eye disease, macular degeneration, and corneal disease. In addition to providing patient care at Family Vision Solutions, she also conducts clinical research studies at the University of Houston College of Optometry.
Dr. Skidmore offers comprehensive vision and medical eye exams for patients 6 months and older. She specializes in medically necessary contact lenses and challenging cases including keratoconus, post-LASIK complications, and irregular corneas. She is certified in corneal reshaping technology (CRT) as a non-surgical alternative to LASIK. New research is showing exciting support for CRT in slowing the progression of myopia (nearsightedness).
Dr. Karen joined the practice in 2000 when it was under the name Ebling Eye Care. She is the recipient of several awards including the Vistakon Award of Excellence in patient care. Previously part of a successful ophthalmology practice, Dr. Karen has extensive experience in ocular pathology and pre and post-surgical eye care.
Additionally, Dr. Karen served as Associate Professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry from 2000-2009. As a busy mother of three, she currently sees patients part-time with a concentration on comprehensive routine and medical eye care.
Aside from his career in the United States Navy, Dr. Charrier has lived in southeast Texas his whole life. He holds two bachelors degrees in Music and Biology and earned a Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston. He is a Diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies section of the American Academy of Optometry, an earned distinction held by less than 1% of optometrists in the United States.
As a naval officer, Dr. Charrier served as Director of the Specialty Contact Lens Clinic at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California. While there, he served military members and their families in comprehensive and medical eye care as well as fit medically necessary contact lenses on patients with eye disease or trauma from the battlefield.
Dr. Charrier’s experience in specialty contact lens fitting is truly impressive. During his time at the Naval Hospital, his success in treating highly complex patients caused his patient base to expand over nine states and the south pacific.
In his time at the Naval hospital, Dr. Charrier routinely treated patients suffering from war injuries, traumatic brain injuries and corneal diseases. Furthermore, he served as an optometrist to our nation’s elite warfighters and pilots including SEALS and the famous Blue Angels.
In his career, Dr. Charrier has treated thousands of complicated patients and continues to have one of the largest specialty contact lens practices in the country.
Since leaving the Navy, Dr. Charrier has become an important referral source for Houston area optometrists and ophthalmologists in helping complicated patients see clearly and comfortably.
Additionally, Dr. Charrier served as faculty to the ophthalmology department providing lectures on optics and contact lenses as well as clinical rotations for the residents. Dr. Charrier was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his work with the residents. He served as a voting member of the Naval Medical Center’s Executive Committee of the Medical Staff and was selected as Division Officer for the Optometry Department.
Dr. Charrier has obtained Fellowship status in the American Academy of Optometry and has held Associate Professor positions in optometry at Southern California College of Optometry, Pacific University, and currently at the University of Houston College of Optometry. As such, it is common to see residents and interns training at the practice with Dr. Charrier.
Professional Associations & Memberships
- American Academy of Optometry
- American Optometric Association
- Armed Forces Optometric Society
- Texas Optometry Association
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 Houston, TX 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 Houston, TX has years of experience identifying the various levels of keratoconus and other corneal conditions.
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
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.