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What is Keratoconus

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that affects the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. It results in thinning of the cornea and instead of the cornea being spherical, the cornea becomes cone shaped. This thinning and irregularity results in significant visual distortion. With advances in technology, we are able to detect the earliest signs of keratoconus. Approximately 1 in 375 people have keratoconus. 

What causes keratoconus? 

The cause of developing keratoconus is still unknown. It is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Normally, keratoconus development starts during adolescence and progresses over several years. The condition is bilateral, however one eye may be significantly advanced than the other. 

Patients with keratoconus often have allergies and experiencing itchy eyes and have the urge to rub the eyes. Knuckle rubbing of the eyes has been commonly linked with keratoconus. Therefore, it is often recommended to not rub your eyes as it may aggravate the condition. 

Signs & Symptoms

  • Blurred & distorted vision
  • Frequent changes in eyeglasses prescription
  • Increased glare/halos at night & difficulty with night time driving 
  • Sensitivity to light

Common ways to manage keratoconus include: 

  1. Eyeglasses or contact lenses: In early stages, vision can be corrected with eyeglasses and contact lenses. However, as the condition worsens, eyeglasses and soft contact lenses may not be a viable option. 
  2. Corneal cross-linking: This procedure aims to stabilize the cornea to prevent further progressions. 
  3. Corneal transplant: in severe cases and in corneal failure, corneal transplant may become important to replace the damaged cornea with healthy donor tissue 
  4. Scleral lenses: Scleral lens can help greatly with vision correction with keratoconus and corneal transplants. It masks the irregularity of the eye surface and helps optimize vision. 

Regular eye examinations are crucial for early detection and monitoring of keratoconus. If you are having eye problems or have been diagnosed with keratoconus, call 905-363-1140 for a consultation.