Keratoconus is a degenerative disease of the cornea that occurs when the surface of this lens thins and protrudes in a cone shape that causes progressive deterioration of vision.
The cornea is the first transparent lens of the eye, it is located on the outside of the eye and is responsible for refracting light rays into the eye. An irregularly shaped cornea can cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light.
Keratoconus generally affects people between the ages of 10 and 25 and is usually in both eyes and can be asymmetrical, affecting one eye more than the other.
In some cases, your treatment can be corrected by the use of prescription glasses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses, scleral lenses and corneal rings. In more advanced cases, a corneal transplant is sometimes required. There is a new treatment called corneal collagen crosslinking which decreases the progression of keratoconus and the chances of needing keratoplasty. Cross-linking consists of producing new molecular links to reinforce the corneal collagen, weakened by the disease.
The definitive cause of keratoconus is unknown, but we know that it can be hereditary or caused by rubbing the eyes a lot, and it occurs in one in two thousand people. So far, there is no prevention method for keratoconus. It can also be caused by recurrent inflammatory processes on the surface of the eye due to allergic infections that contribute to the destruction of corneal tissues.
Symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- light sensitivity
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Eye pain and irritation
- Uncomfortable reflections/glares in vision
- Sudden worsening of vision.
Corneal transplantation for the treatment of keratoconus can be very successful, but there are potential complications including graft rejection, infection, poor vision, and astigmatism.