Keratoconus means “cone-shaped cornea.” An uncommon condition, Keratoconus, thins the cornea and changes its normally round contour to a cone-like bulge.
The cornea is the clear “front window” of the eye. As light enters the eye, it focuses the light rays to give you clear vision. With keratoconus, the shape of the cornea is altered and vision is distorted, making activities like driving, using a computer, watching television, or reading more difficult.
Keratoconus usually affects both eyes, although the symptoms experienced with one eye may be different than those experience with the other eye. The symptoms of keratoconus typically begins during a person’s late teens and early twenties and may include:
- Mild blurring of vision
- Slight distortion of vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Mild irritation
- Increased nearsightedness or astigmatism
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
Keratoconus sometimes produces scar tissue that causes the cornea to lose its smooth texture and affects ability to see clearly.
We do not know what causes keratoconus, but some researchers believe that genetics plays a role; an estimated 10% of people with keratoconus have a family member with the condition.