Keratoconus Alters the Shape of the Eye

Many people imagine the eye to be something which is perfectly round. While the eye is roughly spherical in shape, the cornea makes it less than a sphere. The cornea is the dome located on the front of the eye. It is the cornea which is responsible for directly light into the eye and being the first layer of defense for said eye. 

However, corneas aren’t always perfectly shaped. A Misshaped cornea can affect a person’s vision. Keratoncus is a condition in which the cornea becomes incorrectly shaped. Specifically, a person suffering from keratoconus will find that their cornea bulges outward and looks more like a cone instead. The vision problems caused can be diverse and it’s possible for it to undergo a very slow progression. Take this opportunity to learn more about keratoconus and how it affects people’s eyes.

Causes of Keratoconus

Unfortunately, the cause of keratoconus is unknown. It does tend to start to show itself initially in people between the ages of 10 and 25. It can then progress and get worse for a decade at that point! 

There are some risk factors which can play a role in getting Keratoconus. The most common one is genetic history. That’s found to have a strong correlation, though the exact genetic issue isn’t known. It’s also possible to increase their risk if they don’t treat their eyes correctly. Specifically, if they repeatedly rub their eyes strongly. The final main risk factor is medical conditions. People who suffer from asthma, hay fever, Down syndrome, retinitis pigmentosa and many other conditions may find themselves at risk. 

Symptoms of Keratoconus

The symptoms of keratoconus develop at their own pace. Often people with this condition will find that they have symptoms change during their battle with keratoconus. It’s possible to have a very different experience from another person dealing with keratoconus. Some of the symptoms include: 

  • Vision Alteration - This is a bit of a blanket term for symptoms that can include blurred or distorted vision where there was otherwise no issues before.
  • Sensitivity - People with keratoconus may find that their eyes become extra sensitive to light. This can mostly manifest itself as an issue with bright glaring lights. In particular this can cause problems for people when they are driving when it’s dark outside. 
  • Clouded Vision - This can be an initial occurrence of cloudy vision or it can be a worsening of the cloudy vision that someone is already suffering from. 
  • Frequent Prescription Alterations - It’s natural for many people with glasses to have their prescription change over time. However, people with keratoconus may find that their prescription is altered constanty. 

Treatment of Keratoconus

Tests will be taken to determine if keratoconus is the issue causing symptoms to appear. Once diagnosed, a treatment plan will be written up. Treatment is going to depend on the severity of the case of keratoconus and how much it affects their vision. 

Cases up to moderate severity will tend to use corrective lenses. These tend to come in the form of eyeglasses or soft contact lenses. If the condition becomes a bit more severe, then hard contact lenses become a viable and likely treatment option. Many people may struggle with wearing hard lenses and need hybrid or scleral lenses. 

Surgery can be required in the most severe cases. This is when the cornea is incredibly thin and prescription lenses aren’t having enough of an effect. Corneal implants are plastic inserts which attempt to flatten the cornea to a more natural shape and help restore vision. Another option is a cornea transplant. This is a full thickness transplant and has shown good results. However, people who undergo the procedure have dealt with many side effects.

Medical Disclaimer: The information presented on are for general informational purposes only, the writer may not necessarily have medical or scientific training. This information is not reviewed by a physician. Some of these articles may contain information about treatments or the use of a pharmaceutical product that has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment. Results on any service or treatment may vary from person-to-person.

This article should not be considered as medical advice. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional advice from a certified doctor or other qualified healthcare provider. Always speak with a doctor before starting, stopping, or changing any prescribed care or treatment plan. provides this reading material as a helpful resource, but it should never be a substitute for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment from a medical physician, a certified personal trainer, a therapist, a dietitian, or a nutritionist. If in a medical emergency, call a doctor or dial 911 immediately.