Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision.

Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes and often begins during a person’s teens or early 20s.
eKeratoconus signs and symptoms
As the cornea becomes more irregular in shape, it causes progressive nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism to develop, creating additional problems with distorted and blurred vision. Glare and light sensitivity also may occur.

Often, keratoconic patients experience changes in their eyeglass prescription every time they visit their eye doctor.

What causes keratoconus?
Research suggests the weakening of the corneal tissue that leads to keratoconus may be due to an imbalance of enzymes within the cornea. This imbalance makes the cornea more susceptible to oxidative damage from compounds called fre radicals, causing it to weaken and bulge forward.

Risk factors for oxidative damage and weakening of the cornea include a genetic predisposition, explaining why keratoconus often affects more than one member of the same family.

Keratoconus also is associated with overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, excessive eye rubbing, a history of poorly fitted contact lenses and chronic eye irritation.

Keratoconus treatment
In the mildest form of keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help. But as the disease progresses and the cornea thins and becomes increasingly more irregular in shape, glasses and regular soft contact lens designs no longer provide adequate vision correction.
Treatments for progressive keratoconus include:
Flatten the cornea and reduce the protrusion of its conical shape.
Regulating the level of the cornea, reducing visual acuity and improving the patient’s visual quality.
Reduction of myopia and astigmatism caused by keratoconus. However, there is no guarantee that the patient will not need to wear glasses or contact lenses after the operation.
Slow down the progression of keratoconus and stabilize the cornea. This eliminates or delays the need for corneal transplantation in general.
Increase the strength of the eye to accept contact lenses and feel comfortable with the lens.
Cracking surgery has been used to treat keratoconus since 1995. So far, more than 100,000 patients with keratoconus in 45 countries have successfully undergone corneal surgery and intra-corneal ring implantation.