Due to a lack of knowledge, you might take the news of having keratoconus as a cause of fear and anxiety. But you do not need to live in fear. Instead, learn as much as you can about this eye condition. Discuss your concerns with your eye doctor and ask as many questions as possible. That will help reassure and enlighten you.
If you have keratoconus, it is essential to understand that adapting to the condition is not surrendering. One of the most important things you should do is get regular eye exams at 20/20 EyeVenue and follow your eye doctor’s instructions.
The cornea is a dome-shaped tissue at the front of your eye that focuses light on the eye. Keratoconus develops when the structure of the cornea is too weak to hold its normal round curvature.
Thus, it bulges outward like a cone, bringing light rays that enter the eye out of focus. That results in distorted and blurry vision, making everyday tasks like driving and reading difficult.
Doctors are yet to determine why people develop keratoconus. Certain cases appear to be genetic. According to some studies, about one in 10 individuals with this condition has a parent with keratoconus too. Eye care professionals also associate keratoconus with the following:
Connective tissue disorders
Excessive eye rubbing
Often, this condition develops when people are in their late teens or early 20s and usually affects both eyes. Then, symptoms slowly worsen over one to two decades. Keratoconus can lead to differences in vision between your two eyes. In the early stage, you may experience the following symptoms:
Eye swelling and redness
A mild blurring of vision
Increased sensitivity to glare and light
Slight distortion in vision
In the later stages of keratoconus, you may experience distorted or blurry vision. You may also find it difficult or impossible to wear contact lenses. Advanced keratoconus also causes increased astigmatism or myopia, requiring you to get new eyeglass prescriptions often.
As stated earlier, this eye condition usually takes years to progress from its early to late stage. But for some people, it can worsen quickly, causing the cornea to swell and start scarring suddenly.
The best way to spot signs of this eye condition is by undergoing regular comprehensive eye exams. Your eye doctor will review your family and medical history to diagnose this condition. The doctor may perform other tests to measure the curvature of your corneas.
Tests designed to diagnose keratoconus include eye refraction, slit-lamp exam, keratometry, and corneal mapping. However, the most commonly used test is the topography. It measures the eye’s curvature and creates a colored map of your cornea. If you have keratoconus, the map will have changes that will allow your eye doctor to make a diagnosis.
There is no way to predict how quickly this eye condition will progress or whether it will progress at all. So whether you have keratoconus or not, you should undergo regular comprehensive eye exams.
For more on keratoconus, visit 20/20 EyeVenue at our office in Westminster, Colorado. Call (720) 740-0400 to schedule an appointment today.