Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that affects the shape of your cornea. Those with Keratoconus disease have thinning, bulging, cone-like shaped corneas, rather than the usual smooth round shape. This disease does not necessarily affect both eyes equally, and vision quality can deteriorate at different rates from person to person and from eye to eye in the same person.
If you think you are suffering from Keratoconus symptoms, you should book an appointment with a Keratoconus Specialist like Dr. Barry Leonard at the California Keratoconus Center to get properly diagnosed. And if you think that someone you know might have Keratoconus, send them the Keratoconus Infographic on this page.
There are several Keratoconus symptoms that individuals with this disease can experience. These symptoms can vary depending on how advanced your Keratoconus is.
The most common signs related to Keratoconus include:
If you have any of these Keratoconus symptoms, it could indicate that you have an eye disease that needs treatment. But if you have more than two or three of these symptoms, there is a likelihood that you have Keratoconus. Either way, it is important that you get diagnosed early so you can start treatment as soon as possible. (Make your Keratoconus Screening appointment here.)
We still don’t understand all the causes of Keratoconus. This progressive eye disease affects individuals of all ages. According to a study by the National Organization for Rare Disorders, 1 in 2,000 Americans has the disease, while other data suggests that the rate may be as high as 1 in 400.
Keratoconus often has a genetic component. If your family has a history of the disease, there is a stronger chance that children and siblings may also have it. Research has revealed that individuals with a family history are at a higher risk of developing this eye condition.
Eye rubbing is something that many people do when tired. Some data suggest that excessive eye-rubbing can cause Keratoconus or make it worse. Other data suggests that those with KC tend to rub their eyes more often due to the irritation caused by their misshapen cornea.
LASIK eye surgery and radial keratotomy (RK) are two other potential causes of Keratoconus. Both of these operations involve the cornea and can cause or worsen Keratoconus in some cases.
To make a diagnosis of keratoconus eye disease, the doctor measures the curvature of the cornea. Several different tests can be used to make a keratoconus diagnosis. The Topography test is used most often to measure the eye’s curvature, creating a colored “map” of the cornea.
Keratoconus does not cause total blindness; however, it can lead to significant vision impairment without treatment. With current treatments now available most patients with keratoconus can lead normal lifestyles.
Keratoconus eye disease could cause loss of visual acuity that is severe enough to be considered a disability. Keratoconus is not a disability, but vision loss caused by keratoconus may be severe enough to qualify as a disability.
Inflammation from allergies or irritants can contribute to the destruction of corneal tissue, resulting in developing keratoconus. Excessive eye rubbing and connective tissue disorders like Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are also associated with developing keratoconus.
If you have Keratoconus, early treatment is critical. KC is a progressive disease, but it is possible to stop its progression early with Corneal Cross-Linking treatment. Without CCL, your Keratoconus could get worse very quickly.
If your KC is somewhat stable, and depending on other factors, scleral contact lenses might be the best solution for you to help you see better and with more comfort.
Depending on your specific condition, other treatments may be more appropriate. Learn more about your best Keratoconus treatment options here.
Keratoconus can affect both eyes differently, leading to contrasting vision between the two eyes.
In the early stage, keratoconus symptoms can include:
In later stages, keratoconus symptoms often include:
Keratoconus can take years to go from early- to late-stage. For some people, though, keratoconus can get worse quickly. The cornea can swell suddenly and start to scar. When the cornea has scar tissue, it loses its smoothness and becomes less clear. As a result, vision grows even more blurry and distorted.
If you suspect that you have Keratoconus, the California Keratoconus Center, headed by Keratoconus Expert Dr. Barry Leonard, can help. The Center specializes in diagnosing and treating Keratoconus and has helped thousands of people with the condition since the 1980s, when Dr. Leonard himself was diagnosed with the disease in Optometry school. Want to schedule an appointment? Please call the Center at 818-891-6711 or book your appointment online today.
Keratoconus FAQs (Frequently Asked Question)