Keratoconus develops when your cornea – the clear window at the front of your eye – starts to thin, causing a cone-shaped bulge to develop. This is because the cornea is weaker than usual, and can be exacerbated by eye rubbing. Because of this, there is a high correlation between keratoconus and allergies. Keratoconus often results in irregular astigmatism, where light focuses inaccurately onto the back of your eye.
In the beginning, keratoconus can start with slight blurring and sensitivity to light in one or both of your eyes. Clinical signs of keratoconus typically become apparent around late teens to early 20s. As the year’s pass, progression tends to slow down and the keratoconus can often stabilise.
Who is at risk of keratoconus?
While keratoconus is not a rare eye disease, it also does not occur very often. So far, there has not been any definitive answer as to why keratoconus occurs in one person and not the other. Eye rubbing and ocular allergies are closely linked with keratoconus, hence in the early stages of the disease, there is a lot of emphasis on limiting eye rubbing.
How does keratoconus progress and what is the treatment?
In the early stages of keratoconus, glasses or contact lenses can be used to correct refractive error and astigmatism. If the disease progresses, the cornea becomes thinner and more cone-shaped. Your eye doctor may suggest rigid gas permeable (also referred to as RGP) contact lenses to correct your vision. To maintain good vision, you will likely need frequent checkups and contact lens fittings to ensure you are receiving the best possible correction for keratoconus. Usually, regular checkups and the right contact lenses can help maintain good vision. In extreme cases of keratoconus, your doctor may discuss the possibility of a cornea transplant. This may be due to corneal scarring or other issues.
Keratoconus can be diagnosed through a routine eye exam. Your ophthalmologist will examine your cornea, and may measure its curvature. This helps show if there is a change in its shape. Click here to read more.
We set out to describe the natural history of keratoconus. We included untreated patients, and our key outcome measures were vision, refraction, and corneal curvature. Click here to more.
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