Keratoconus :Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus happens over time, once the traditional spherical curvature of the surface of the attention bulges outward, sort of a cone. The condition is treatable in many ways in which.Keratoconus is characterized by the cutting of the membrane and irregularities of the cornea’s surface. The membrane is the clear, outer layer at the front of your eye. The center layer is the thickest part of the membrane, largely created from water and a macromolecule known as scleroprotein. scleroprotein makes the membrane robust and versatile, and helps keep its regular shape. This healthy membrane focuses lightweight therefore you'll be able to see clearly. With astigma, the membrane things associated bulges into an irregular round shape, leading to vision loss.

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus usually begins at pubescence and progresses into the mid-30s. There's no thanks to predict however quickly the malady can progress, or if it'll progress the least bit. Astigma usually affects each eye, with one being a lot more severely affected than the opposite.

Your membrane is that the clear, dome-shaped window at the front of your eye. It focuses lightweight into your eye. Astigma is once the membrane thins out and bulges sort of a cone. dynamically the form of the membrane brings lightweight rays out of focus. As a result, your vision is indistinct and distorted, creating daily tasks like reading or driving tough.

  1. Eye

  2. Cornea

  3. Iris

  4. Ciliary body

  5. Lens

  6. Retina

Medical terms

  • Keratoconus (ker-uh-toe-KOH-nus) happens once your tissue layer — the clear, dome-shaped front surface of your eye — thins and bit by bit bulges outward into a cone.

  • A round shape tissue layer causes blurred vision and should cause sensitivity to light-weight and glare. Astigmatism typically affects each eye, tho' it usually affects one eye over the opposite. It usually begins to have an effect on individuals between the ages of ten and twenty five. The condition could progress slowly for ten years or longer.

  • In the early stages of astigmatism, you may be able to correct vision issues with glasses or soft contact lenses. Later, you'll ought to be fitted with rigid, gas pervious contact lenses or different forms of lenses, like scleral lenses. If your condition progresses to a sophisticated stage, you would like a tissue layer transplant.

  • A new treatment referred to as membrane scleroprotein cross-linking could facilitate to slow or stop astigmatism from progressing, probably preventing the requirement for a future tissue layer transplant. This treatment could also be offered additionally to the vision correction choices on top of.

  • Keratoconus is a disease of the eye in which the cornea becomes thin and misshapen causing vision problems It usually develops before age 21 with 25-30% of patients younger than 18 years old About 1 in 1000 people have this condition The cornea is normally slightly cone-shaped; in keratoconus it becomes more conical to the extent that light refracts abnormally on its surface distorting vision People with keratoconus often complain of blurred vision and ghosting (multiple images) Other symptoms can include sensitivity to light and glare (daytime) dry eyes.

Treatment Keratoconus is a degenerative ocular disorder in which the cornea becomes conical rather than spherical The normal curvature of the cornea progressively flattens resulting in blurred distance vision Without treatment severe visual impairment may develop Keratoplasty has been used as a primary and secondary procedure for keratoconus correction since the 1950s Transplantation of donor tissue (allograft) currently remains the most common therapeutic option for treating keratoconus due to its demonstrated safety and efficacy compared with alternative options.

Symptoms Keratoconus

Keratoconus usually starts once individuals square measure in their late teens to early 20s. The vision symptoms slowly exacerbate over an amount of time ranging from ten to twenty years.

Keratoconus usually affects each eye, and might cause terribly completely different vision between the 2 eyes. Symptoms will dissent in every eye, and that they will modify over time.

Signs and symptoms of keratoconus may change as the disease progresses. They include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision

  • Increased sensitivity to bright light and glare, which can cause problems with night driving

  • A need for frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions

  • Sudden worsening or clouding of vision

When to see a doctor

See your specialist (ophthalmologist or optometrist) if your visual modality is worsening apace, which could be caused by AN irregular curvature of the attention (astigmatism). He or she may additionally hunt for signs of astigma throughout routine eye exams.

Causes Keratoconus

Although astigmatism has been studied for many years, it remains poorly understood. The definitive explanation for astigmatism is unknown, although it's believed that the predisposition to develop the sickness is a gift at birth. A typical finding in astigmatism is the loss of albuminoid within the membrane. This might be caused by some imbalance between production and destruction of the membrane tissue by the membrane cells.

No one is aware of what causes astigmatism, though genetic and environmental factors are thought to be concerned. Around one in ten individuals with astigmatism even have a parent with the condition.

Risk factors Keratoconus

These factors can increase your chances of developing keratoconus:

  • Having a family history of keratoconus

  • Rubbing your eyes vigorously

  • Having certain conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa, Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hay fever and asthma

Can you go blind if you have keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a disorder in which the cornea thins becoming more conical rather than round As the disease progresses vision becomes less clear and distorted causing people with keratoconus to need progressively stronger corrective lenses to compensate for the irregular shape of the cornea For many people with keratoconus glasses or soft contact lenses do not adequately correct their vision These individuals may require rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses that can be worn full-time Fortunately researchers have found that RGP lenses can even provide some improvement for those whose cones are so advanced that they.

Can keratoconus be stopped?

Last year Bright Vision Hospital disclosed that they have successfully developed a stem cell treatment for treating keratoconus The promise of this new treatment is that it could permanently halt the progression of the condition and prevent patients from going under the knife.

Is keratoconus painful?

Keratoconus usually does not cause pain Keratoconus can however make vision for the patient less clear especially at night and in low-light environments This can sometimes lead to headaches from focusing on near visual tasks or light sensitivity Some patients with keratoconus may experience dryness and irritation of the eyes due to the increased need to blink.

Can I live a normal life with keratoconus?

According to EyeCare America keratoconus can cause vision loss if left untreated Fortunately there are ways to manage this condition so that it does not impact your daily life After you have received treatment follow up with an eye care professional within a year and regularly after that Make sure you schedule regular checkups and adhere to a healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition and adequate sleep Also be wary of activities such as contact sports or recreational activities because they could affect your cornea further Be prepared for advanced treatment options by finding out which ones may work best for you as early as possible in the progression of the disease.

Can you still drive with keratoconus?

If you have keratoconus and your vision is affected you don't need to stop driving The condition only affects the cornea or surface of your eye so there are adaptive options that allow you to continue driving safely Some people with keratoconus can wear soft contact lenses if they have thinning on the center of their corneas Hard contact lenses that thicken the cornea are not recommended because they make the vision even more blurred Another option is rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens If a person no longer has any clear area in his cornea an ophthalmologist.

Can I get pregnant with keratoconus?

Can I get Pregnant with Keratoconus? Yes you can get pregnant if you have keratoconus and haven't had a corneal transplant Many women in the world today are giving birth to healthy babies even though they have this eye condition Dr Robert Ritch believes that any woman who has keratoconus should not be told that her reproductive years are over for fear of passing this condition onto the child In fact Dr Ritch is the Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Midwestern University in Arizona where he is also the Director of their Cornea Transplant.

Complications Keratoconus

In some things, your tissue layer might swell quickly and cause fulminant reduced vision and scarring of the tissue layer. This can be caused by a condition during which the within lining of your tissue layer breaks down, permitting fluid to enter the tissue layer (hydrops). The swelling typically subsides by itself, however a scar might be kind that affects your vision.

Advanced astigma additionally might cause your tissue layer to become scarred, notably wherever the cone is most outstanding. A scarred tissue layer causes worsening vision issues and will need tissue layer transplant surgery.

Diagnosis Keratoconus

In order to form a designation of astigmatism, the doctor should live with the curvature of the membrane. many completely different tests may be performed to form the designation. Take a look at what's used most frequently is named topography. Topography measures the curvature of the surface of the attention and creates a coloured “map” of the membrane. Astigmatism causes terribly distinctive changes within the look of those maps that permits the doctor to form the designation.

Their square measures newer technologies which will enable astigmatism to be found earlier, even before changes on topography. Refractive optical device surgeons can typically perform these tests before providing optical device vision surgery since patients with signs of astigmatism don't seem to be candidates for LASIK and most different varieties of optical device vision correction.

To diagnose astigmatism, your specialist (ophthalmologist or optometrist) can review your medical and case history and conduct an eye fixed communicating. He or she might conduct different tests to work out additional details concerning the form of your membrane. Tests to diagnose astigmatism include:

  • Eye refraction. In this check your specialist uses special instrumentation that measures your eyes to examine for vision issues. He or she might raise you to see through a tool that contains wheels of various lenses (phoropter) to assist choose that combination that offers you the sharpest vision. Some doctors might use a hand-held instrument (retinoscope) to gauge your eyes. 

  • Slit-lamp examination. In this take a look at your doctor directs a vertical beam of sunshine on the surface of your eye and uses a powerless magnifier to look at your eye. He or she evaluates the form of your tissue layer and appears for alternative potential issues in your eye. 

  • Keratometry. In this test your eye doctor focuses a circle of light on your cornea and measures the reflection to determine the basic shape of your cornea.

  • Computerized corneal mapping. Special photographic tests, like membrane pictorial representation and membrane topography, record pictures to make an in depth form map of your tissue layer. membrane pictorial representation also can live the thickness of your tissue layer. membrane pictorial representation will usually find early signs of astigma before the malady is visible by slit-lamp examination. 

Treatment Keratoconus

Their square measures many ways for treating astigmatism, reckoning no matter how severe the condition is. Within the early stages of the unwellness, vision is corrected with traditional eyeglasses or soft contact lenses.

As astigmatism gets worse, vision could not be correctable with eyeglasses owing to the quantity of irregular astigmatism, then the patient may have to be worked with a special variety of onerous contact.

For some patients, the unwellness could advance to a stage where they do not have acceptable vision even with glasses or contact lenses. At this time, the doctor could advocate a tissue layer transplant, that could be an operation to interchange the tissue layer with a tissue layer from a donor.

Treatment for astigmatism depends on the severity of your condition and the way quickly the condition is progressing. Generally, there square measure 2 approaches to treating keratoconus: speed the progression of the unwellness and up your vision.

If your astigmatism is progressing, tissue layer scleroprotein cross-linking can be indicated to slow or stop the progression. This is often a more recent treatment that has the potential to stop you from needing a tissue layer transplant within the future. However, this treatment doesn't reverse astigmatism or improve vision.

Improving your vision depends on the severity of astigmatism. delicate to moderate astigmatism is treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. This can probably be a long treatment, particularly if your tissue layer becomes stable with time or from cross-linking.

In some individuals with astigmatism, the tissue layer becomes scarred with advanced unwellness or carrying contact lenses becomes tough. In these individuals, tissue layer transplant surgery can be necessary.


  • Eyeglasses or soft contact lenses. Glasses or soft contact lenses will correct foggy or distorted vision in early astigma. However, individuals oftentimes have to be compelled to amend their prescription for eyeglasses or contacts because of the form of their corneas amendment. 

  • Hard contact lenses. Hard (rigid, gas permeable) contact lenses are usually a consequent step in treating more-advanced astigma. exhausting lenses could feel uncomfortable initially, however many of us comply with sporting them and that they will give wonderful vision. This kind of lens will be created to suit your corneas. 

  • Piggyback lenses. If rigid lenses are uncomfortable, your doctor may recommend "piggybacking" a hard contact lens on top of a soft one.

  • Hybrid lenses. These contact lenses have a rigid center with a softer ring around the outside for increased comfort. People who can't tolerate hard contact lenses may prefer hybrid lenses.

  • Scleral lenses. These lenses are helpful for terribly irregular form changes in your tissue layer in advanced astigma. Rather than resting on the tissue layer like ancient contact lenses do, scleral lenses sit on the white a part of the attention (sclera) and vault over the tissue layer while not touching it.
    If you are mistreatment rigid or scleral contact lenses, check that to possess them fitted by an eye fixed doctor with expertise in treating astigma. you will additionally have to be compelled to have regular checkups to see whether or not the fitting remains satisfactory. Associate in Nursing ill-fitting lenses will injure your tissue layer. 

Video: Keratoconus

Scleral contact lenses cowl the white a part of the attention and overarch the tissue layer. A protecting layer of saline lies between the attention and the lens. These lenses are an honest difference to surgery for several patients with astigma.


  • Corneal collagen cross-linking. In this procedure, the cornea is saturated with riboflavin eye drops and treated with ultraviolet light. This causes cross-linking of the cornea, which stiffens the cornea to prevent further shape changes. Corneal collagen cross-linking may help to reduce the risk of progressive vision loss by stabilizing the cornea early in the disease.


You may like surgery if you've got membrane scarring, extreme dilution of your tissue layer, poor vision with the strongest prescription lenses or AN inability to wear any form of contact lenses. betting on the situation of the bulging cone and also the severity of your condition, surgical choices include:

  • Penetrating keratoplasty. If you've got tissue layer scarring or extreme dilution, you probably would like a tissue layer transplant (keratoplasty). Penetrating transplantation could be a full-cornea transplant. During this procedure, doctors take away a full-thickness portion of your central tissue layer and replace it with donor tissue. 

  • Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK). The DALK procedure preserves the within lining of the membrane (endothelium). This helps avoid the rejection of this essential within lining which will occur with a full-thickness transplant.
    Cornea transplant for astigma usually is incredibly made, however attainable complications embrace graft rejection, poor vision, infection and astigmatism. Astigmatism is commonly managed by carrying exhausting contact lenses once more, that is typically lighter once a membrane transplant. 

Preparing for your appointment

If you are having problems with your vision, you will probably begin by seeing a watch doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist). If your oculist determines that you just might need astigmatism, you will be stated associate medical specialist United Nations agency has had special coaching in tissue layer illness and surgery to induce and interpret tissue layer imaging studies and to see if you wish cross-linking or a tissue layer transplant.

Here's some info to assist you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Symptoms you've been having and for how long

  • Recent major stresses or life changes

  • All medications, eyedrops, vitamins and supplements you take, including the doses

  • Questions to ask your doctor

For keratoconus some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?

  • What are other possible causes?

  • Do I need any tests?

  • Is this condition temporary?

  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?

  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?

  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • What types of signs and symptoms have you been having?

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?

  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?

  • How severe are your symptoms?

  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?

  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?

  • Does anyone in your family have keratoconus?

General summary

  1. Keratoconus is a degenerative corneal disorder that manifests as thinning and steepening of the central cornea (cornea is transparent dome-shaped tissue over the iris in the eye) with distortion resulting from bulging inward It is believed to be present in about one in 2,000 people The typical age of onset for keratoconus is between 15 and 20 years of age; however it can occur at any age Severe cases become noticeable by early adulthood but mild cases may not show up until later in life or even when older adults are being examined for other conditions (such as.

  2. Keratoconus is a chronic condition that cannot be cured permanently Like most eye diseases and conditions it can only be managed.But since the disease has no permanent cure finding the right contact lens and glasses for your keratoconus eyes is essential.

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