Keratoconus is a progressive eye disorder that causes the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) to thin and bulge into a cone-like shape. This can cause distorted and blurred vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. The condition typically develops in adolescence or early adulthood and affects both eyes, although one eye may be more affected than the other.
Symptoms of keratoconus include:
- Blurred vision
- Distorted or multiple images
- Glare and halos around lights
- Sensitivity to light
- Rapid changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
Keratoconus is typically diagnosed by one of our optometrists during a comprehensive eye exam. Additional testing, such as a corneal topography (a map of the cornea), may be performed to assess the shape of the cornea and the severity of the condition.
Treatment for keratoconus is typically tailored to the individual and can include:
- Glasses or soft contact lenses
- Rigid gas permeable contact lenses
- Hybrid contact lenses
- Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL), a treatment that uses ultraviolet light and riboflavin to strengthen the cornea
- Corneal transplant surgery
In advanced cases of keratoconus, a corneal transplant may be the only option to restore vision.
There is currently no known cure for keratoconus, but early detection and treatment can slow the progression of the condition and help preserve vision.
It is important to note that people with keratoconus need to be followed regularly to monitor the progression of the disease and adjust the treatment accordingly.
In some cases, keratoconus can be associated with other systemic diseases such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Leber's congenital amaurosis or atopy. It is important for patients with keratoconus to be evaluated for these conditions as well.