Approximately one in 2,000 individuals suffer from keratoconus, which typically begins during puberty and progresses into the mid-30s. As a progressive condition of the eye, keratoconus affects the cornea, which is the front of the eye. During the progression of keratoconus, the cornea gets progressively thinner, resulting in irregular surfaces on the cornea as the cornea starts protruding outward and bulging out like a cone.

What are the symptoms of keratoconus?

The front surface of your eye is normally round, smooth, and has a regular shape, but with keratoconus, it can be irregularly shaped, causing irregular astigmatisms and scarring, which can result in a variety of symptoms. Keratoconus can lead to:

  • Blurring in your vision
  • Distortions in your vision
  • Shadowing around letters and objects
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Glare
  • Eye redness
  • Swelling
  • Keratoconus can lead to eye pain in its more severe stages, when your cornea becomes increasingly thin to the point that it ruptures and breaks.

If you notice any of these symptoms or experience sudden changes in your vision and find it difficult for you to perform your daily activities, please schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor.

What causes keratoconus?

When it comes to the causes of keratoconus, the exact mechanism of action is complex. There is, however, a genetic component to it. Thinner corneas are believed to be caused by enzymatic breakdown of collagen structures within the cornea.

Is keratoconus a disability?

When it comes to answering the question about keratoconus being a disability, it really depends upon how severe and how advanced your condition is. Scleral or rigid gas permeable contact lenses can significantly improve your vision if you have mild symptoms of keratoconus. Another treatment option is to use contact lenses or corneal crosslinking to slow down the progression of your keratoconus. The specialty hard contact lenses may not be enough if you have keratoconus in its severe and end stages. In the most severe stages of keratoconus, patients can be considered legally blind. Thus, keratoconus can be considered a disability in that situation.

There are many options to improve visual function and reduce symptoms that are caused by Keratoconus. We recommend scheduling an eye exam with your optometrist if you have keratoconus, have any questions, are suffering from discomfort or decreased vision, or are looking at different treatment options to slow down the progression of your keratoconus.

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