Keratoconus

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a condition that causes increasing thinning and bulging of a part of the eye called the cornea. The cornea is the clear dome-shaped window in the front of the eye. It helps to focus what we see into the eye. When the shape of the cornea changes, the eye cannot focus as well, and vision becomes blurry and distorted. This can make activities such as reading or driving more difficult. Keratoconus usually develops over time. The rate the condition progresses is different from person to person. Keratoconus usually happens in both eyes, but one eye may be worse than the other.


What causes keratoconus?

The cause of keratoconus is unknown most of the time. In some cases, it can be passed down from family members.  It can occur in people with genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, or even in people with severe eye allergies. It usually presents in patients between the ages of 15-25 years. 


What are the symptoms of keratoconus?

Symptoms of keratoconus usually include blurred vision and light sensitivity. Eye irritation and frequent changes in glasses prescription can also occur.


What is the treatment for keratoconus?

Treatment for keratoconus depends on how bad the symptoms are. Mild cases can be treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Moderate cases can be treated with special hard contact lenses. More serious cases require advanced treatment. A procedure called corneal cross-linking can be used to strengthen the cornea. Another option is a surgical implant into the cornea. In the most complex cases, corneal transplant surgery can be performed.