What is keratoconus?

Be Eye Wise and understand that keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that causes the corneal tissue to thin and lose its shape. So instead of a gentle dome shape, the cornea becomes cone-shaped. This interferes with its ability to focus light onto the retina, which causes blurry vision and other visual disturbances.

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Symptoms of keratoconus can be:

  • Blurry and distorted vision.
  • Clouding of the vision.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Poor night vision.
  • Headaches (from eye strain).
  • Difficulty discerning close-up images.

Causes of keratoconus can be:

  • An eye injury, such as excessive eye rubbing or wearing hard contact lenses for many years.
  • Certain eye diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, retinopathy of prematurity and vernal keratoconjunctivitis.
  • Systemic diseases, such as Leber’s congenital amaurosis, Ehlers- Danlos syndrome, Down syndrome, and osteogenesis imperfecta.
  • Headaches from eye strain.
  • Difficulty discerning close-up images.

Treatment of keratoconus includes:

• Eyeglasses for treating early-stage keratoconus (usually requires frequent changes in the astigmatism prescription).
• Contact lenses for mild to moderate keratoconus (options include a soft lens, Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) and scleral lenses).
• Corneal implants to help flatten and reshape the cornea.
• Corneal transplants that replace the damaged cornea with healthy donor tissue. This is the best option for late-stage keratoconus or if contact lenses won’t work.
• Corneal cross-linking through an investigational study.

To learn all you can about keratoconus and which treatment option is best for your condition, please schedule an appointment with a Northwest Eye physician. Be Eye Wise. Because the more you know, the better you see.