Our corneas are surprisingly resilient. However, they are susceptible to many different conditions. One of these conditions, affecting about 1 in every 2,000 people, is keratoconus.
What is Keratoconus?
Corneas are normally a smooth, dome shape. People prone to keratoconus have thinner, unstable corneas. Because the cornea is thin, it eventually begins to lose its shape. As keratoconus progresses, the cornea will begin to bulge and take on a more cone-like shape. This cone-shaped cornea can cause extremely blurry vision.
Keratoconus progresses very slowly. The average age of keratoconus onset occurs around age 16. The earliest signs of keratoconus are blurry vision and frequent prescription changes. Symptoms of keratoconus include:
- Vision that cannot be corrected with glasses
- Increased light sensitivity
- Poor night vision, especially when driving at night
- Halos around light
- Headaches and general eye pain
- Irritated eyes
If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your eye doctor right away!
Keratoconus does not have many treatments, and there is still a lot of research being done to make treatments even more effective. There are three common treatments for keratoconus:
- Corneal cross-linking helps to restore collagen crosslinks inside of the cornea, making the cornea stronger.
- Intacs is a small curved device that your eye surgeon inserts into your cornea. Intacs aid in flattening the cornea, preventing the cornea from bulging further.
- Corneal transplant replaces the diseased cornea with a new, donor cornea. This is often a last-resort treatment for advanced cases of keratoconus.
If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, please be sure to contact us for treatment options!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can someone with keratoconus live a normal life?
Yes, someone with keratoconus can live a normal life with the proper care and treatment from their eye care specialist, but they may need specialty contact lenses.
Can you go completely blind from keratoconus?
Keratoconus does not usually lead to complete blindness. However, it can lead to partial blindness or significant visual impairment if left untreated.
How do you prevent keratoconus from getting worse?
Getting the correct treatment, such as cross-linking, from your eye care specialist can prevent keratoconus from worsening.
Is keratoconus surgery painful?
No, keratoconus surgery is not painful because your eyes will be numb during the procedure.
Can keratoconus be cured?
No, there is no cure for keratoconus. However, it can be managed effectively with treatment.
How serious is keratoconus?
Yes, it is important that individuals with keratoconus treat this condition, as it can lead to vision deterioration if left untreated.
Can I drive with keratoconus?
If your keratoconus is properly manages and your eyecare specialist says that you are safe to drive, then you can continue driving. However, if your vision deteriorates to the point that you cannot see properly, it may be unsafe for you to drive.
How do you reverse keratoconus naturally?
Unfortunately there is no way to naturally reverse your keratoconus.
Can keratoconus be cured without surgery?
Keratoconus cannot be cured with surgery. However, treatment and surgery are tools to manage the condition.
Will keratoconus stop progressing without treatment?
Keratoconus can appear between the ages of 10 and 25 and usually progresses slowly until the age of 40.
Can someone drive if they have keratoconus?
If your keratoconus is properly managed and your eyecare specialist says that you are safe to drive, then you can continue driving. However, if your vision deteriorates to the point that you cannot see properly, it may be unsafe for you to drive.
Can keratoconus be reversed naturally?
No, unfortunately there is no way to naturally reverse keratoconus. Treatment and surgery are the best tools to manage the condition.