What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition in which the cornea of the eye thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. Together with the eye’s lens, the cornea reflects light. The cornea is responsible for approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power.
Keratoconus can be difficult to detect, as it usually develops slowly. Nearsightedness and problems with how the eye is able to focus light may accompany this disease, causing additional problems with distorted and blurred vision and making a clear diagnosis more difficult.
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Normal vision vs. Keratoconus
Keratoconus often appears in the teens or early twenties. There may be a family history of Keratoconus, but this is fairly rare. Keratoconus is common in patients with atopic dermatitis, connective tissue disorder, retinitis pigmentosa and Down Syndrome.
What are the symptoms of Keratoconus?
Symptoms of Keratoconus may include:
- distorted and/or blurred vision
- glare and light sensitivity
- frequent prescription changes
- itchy eyes
- frequent rubbing of the eyes
- seeing double with one eye covered and/or multiple images
What to expect from Keratoconus?
In the mildest form of Keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help. As the disease progresses and the cornea thins and changes shape, these will no longer be sufficient to correct your vision. When standard glasses or lenses are no longer sufficient, surgery to flatten the cornea or a corneal transplant may offer a solution. Discuss the best options for your specific situation with your eye care professional.
More information about Keratoconus
There is extensive information available about Keratoconus. The information included is intended to inform you about the basics of this eye condition, and is not intended as a replacement for information from your physician or eye specialist. Information regarding assistive devices that can help you if you have been diagnosed with Keratoconus is included. Our recommendations can be found under Tools and Resources.