Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that changes the shape of the cornea. Normally, the cornea is smooth and round; over time, people with keratoconus develop a thin, cone-shaped cornea. When light enters the eye, this abnormal shape prevents the light from focusing directly on the cornea, causing blurry or distorted vision.
Keratoconus usually emerges early in life; it is commonly diagnosed in teens and young adults. It occurs in both eyes, although each eye may be affected differently. During the early stages of the disease, vision can be corrected with prescription spectacles. As keratoconus progresses, the cornea will continue to thin out and change shape. In the later stages of the disease, rigid contact lenses can effectively correct vision, but in some cases surgical intervention is necessary to maintain useful vision.
There is an increasing number of options in the management of keratoconus that can be tailored to each individual depending on the shape of their cornea and their visual requirements which are expanded upon in the tabs under 'Keratoconus' above.
Symptoms of keratoconus
Keratoconus usually develops slowly, which can make it difficult to detect. Early symptoms include:
Sensitivity to light
People with keratoconus tend to update their lens prescription frequently due to continual changes of the shape of the cornea.
Causes of keratoconus
The exact cause of keratoconus is unknown. However, there are risk factors associated with keratoconus, including:
Family history of the disease
Chronic eye irritation
Wearing contact lenses
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