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Early treatment can lead to better outcomes.

Keratoconus is an eye condition that affects the shape of a person’s cornea (the clear outer layer of the eye). This condition occurs when the cornea cannot hold its round shape – it becomes thin and misshapen as a result. An irregular or cone-shaped cornea does not allow light to be refracted properly in the eye which can lead to vision distortions and eventual vision loss.

What causes keratoconus?

Many of the signs of this condition can be traced back to insufficient collagen in the cornea.

The definitive cause of this condition remains unclear, though it is believed to be genetically passed down. There are several possible causes of keratoconus, including:

  • Family history of the disease
  • Comorbid conditions like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Down’s syndrome
  • Frequent eye rubbing, especially if the eye rubbing is aggressive (“knuckling”)
  • Chronic eye inflammation, like that caused by allergies

There is no known prevention for this condition.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary, but can include:

  • Cone-shaped corneas which can be seen when looking at someone from the side
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Eye irritation or eye pain
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Sudden or progressive vision changes

Patients with keratoconus may experience all, some, or none of these symptoms at any given time.

How is keratoconus diagnosed?

Your doctor can diagnose keratoconus during your routine eye exam.

We perform diagnostic testing for our patients that is designed to identify this condition at its earliest stages. That means you don’t have to ask for extra testing – we do the work for you.

Still, it is best to inform our team if you experience the symptoms of this condition or if you suspect you may be at increased risk for developing keratoconus so your doctor can develop a personalized treatment plan.

What treatments are available for this condition?

Treatment for keratoconus varies depending on the severity of your case. Mild keratoconus may be treated with prescription eyeglasses or contacts. We recommend gas permeable contact lenses that can temporarily reshape the cornea as you sleep.

More advanced cases may require other interventions, including surgery.

Keratoconus cannot be treated with home remedies. We recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our Doctors if you have been diagnosed with or believe you may have this condition.