Approximately 50 to 200 of every 100,000 people are afflicted with keratoconus.

It is not uncommon for someone to get emotional when they are diagnosed with keratoconus. They might be frightened or worried because their family history is strongly associated with keratoconus or they might be confused because they don't know what keratoconus is, and this is when optometrists have to explain the condition to them.

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease of the cornea, which is the front surface of your eye. As your cornea thins over time, it can bulge out or become irregular, causing it to protrude outward.

It is normal for your cornea to be round, smooth, and have a regular surface, but keratoconus results in an irregular shape of the surface, which may then lead to irregular astigmatism and scarring, leading to various symptoms.

What are the symptoms of keratoconus?

Some of the symptoms that it can lead to is a

  • Blurring in your vision
  • Distortions in vision
  • Shadowing around letters and objects
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare
  • Eye redness or swelling
  • Pain if you have more severe cases of keratoconus where your cornea gets progressively thinner in certain areas which can then lead to ruptures and can lead to eye pain.

With keratoconus, why are eye exams important?

As long as you have your annual eye examinations or sooner, based on your eye doctor's recommendation, the earlier we catch keratoconus, the better chance we have of treating it. Then we can intervene with different medical interventions to slow down the progression of keratoconus and improve your vision. Also, it is important to note that keratoconus may seem like a scary term at first, but there are a variety of treatments available today.

What can be done to slow down the progression of keratoconus?

While there is no cure for keratoconus, there are various things that can improve your vision and slow down the progress of keratoconus. Medical interventions include corneal crosslinking to slow down the progression of keratoconus. You may also need specialty hard contact lenses, which are custom-made specifically for your eyes, with the aim of masking your irregular corneal surface, which can improve your vision tremendously.

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