What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye disease that affects the front part of the eye, the cornea, causing it to become thin and cone-shaped instead of round. Because of this abnormal shape, light doesn’t properly focus on the retina, resulting in distorted vision.  

What are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?  

One of the earliest symptoms of keratoconus is blurry vision or vision that gets progressively worse. Other symptoms of keratoconus could include difficulty seeing at night, an increase in sensitivity to bright lights, seeing halos or glare around lights, headaches with eye pain, or a sudden clouding of vision.  

What are the Risk Factors for Keratoconus?  

  • Age: Many people are diagnosed with keratoconus when they are teenagers. Young people diagnosed with keratoconus are likely to need surgery as the keratoconus progresses.  
  • Family History: People who have a family history of keratoconus or systemic disorders such as Down syndrome are at risk of developing keratoconus.  
  • Chronic Eye Inflammation: Those who suffer from eye inflammation caused by chronic allergies or irritants may also be at risk, as these can damage the corneal tissue and lead to keratoconus.   
  • Eye Rubbing: People who frequently rub their eyes might be more likely to develop keratoconus, as chronic eye rubbing is associated with the disease.  

How is Keratoconus Diagnosed? 

Dr. Kazem at Lawrenceville Family Eyecare can diagnose keratoconus during a comprehensive eye exam. He’ll ask about your family’s eye health history and perform various tests to determine the shape of your cornea. One of these tests is called a slit-lamp exam, where Dr. Kazem will shine a light into your eye and use a microscope to examine the shape of your cornea.  

Other tests, such as optical coherence tomography and corneal topography, can create a digital map of your cornea’s surface and measure its thickness.  

What are the Treatments for Keratoconus?  

If you’re dealing with a mild to moderate case of keratoconus, specialty contact lenses can help correct your vision. For progressive cases, there’s an outpatient procedure called cross-linking that can stop the progression of the disease and sometimes even reverse it. 

In more severe cases where sight loss is possible, corneal transplant surgery might be recommended. But even after the surgery, you may still need glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision.  

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of keratoconus, schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Kazem at Lawrenceville Family Eyecare, one of the top eye care practices in the Atlanta area, today. He’ll assess your condition and suggest the best treatment for your specific case.