Keratoconus is a condition of the cornea. The word keratoconus is formed from two Greek words, kerato, meaning cornea, and konus, meaning cone. The normal cornea is the clear "watch-glass" covering of the front of the eye. The cornea is generally shaped like a dome or sphere. It is primarily responsible for surface protection of the eye and performs a greater degree of light focusing than any other part of the eye.
Keratoconus gradually causes the central area of the cornea to weaken, thin, or bulge. It eventually distorts from its more spherical shape to a cone shape. This distortion may cause significant changes in vision which may begin in the late teen years and may not stop until age 40. While keratoconus can be an inherited bilateral (two eye) condition, many patients have no clear inheritance pattern. It has been estimated to occur in 1 out of every 2,000 persons.
People who handle their keratoconus problems successfully develop their own coping mechanisms. Sunglasses are advised to reduce glare symptoms. If contacts are worn, and since the fitting of these lenses is especially difficult, we advise an extra pair in the event of loss.
Be alert to any sudden changes in your vision. Contact us immediately if you experience excessive blur, scratchiness, watering or discharge. Women should take special care with cosmetics. We advise that all keratoconus patients wear goggles when swimming and wear safety eyewear when engaged in yard work, hazardous work environments and athletics.