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What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition in which the cornea slowly thins and undergoes a cone-shaped deformation. The cornea is the transparent part of the outside of the eye through which light enters. The cornea is responsible for approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power.

Keratoconus can be difficult to diagnose because it almost always starts slowly. Nearsightedness and problems focusing light can complicate this condition and cause additional problems with blurred vision. This often makes a diagnosis difficult to make.

Keratoconus often occurs in both eyes and usually begins in childhood. It often only really develops between the ages of 20 and 30. In less than 10% of people with Keratoconus, the condition is hereditary. It is more common in patients with atopic eczema, connective tissue disease, RP or Down syndrome.

What can one expect from Keratoconus?

Being told that your eyesight is affected by Keratoconus can turn the world upside down. When the first emotions subside, the knowledge that one is not alone may provide support. There are many people in the same situation, some who have just been diagnosed themselves and some who have been living with Keratoconus for years.

Many people with Keratoconus continue to do the things they have always done. If the diagnosis is made at an early stage, there is a good chance that you will be able to retain most of your vision and continue to do the activities you have always done. If the condition is in an advanced stage, one often still has partial vision. With the use of specific tools, one can continue to do the things they love.

If you experience visual impairment as a result of Keratoconus, there are aids available that can help with the tasks you have difficulty with. These aids can provide support with tasks that require vision and can help you continue to lead a full and independent life.

Picture view without and with Keratoconus

What are the symptoms of Keratoconus?

Symptoms may include:

What can one expect from Keratoconus? 

For the mildest form, glasses or soft lenses can often provide improvement. As the condition progresses and the cornea begins to change shape, these agents will no longer be sufficient to improve vision. If standard glasses or lenses are no longer sufficient, surgery to bring the cornea back into shape or a corneal transplant can improve the condition. Discuss the options with your doctor or specialist.

Learn more about Keratoconus

Extensive information is available. This information is intended to inform you about the most important aspects of this eye condition and is not intended to replace the information one receives from the doctor or eye specialist.
For more information, see:

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