Keratoconus is a condition in which the normally round dome-shaped cornea (the transparent front part of the eye) progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop. This results in significant visual impairment. The cornea is responsible for refracting (focusing) accurately most of the light coming into the eye. Therefore, abnormalities of the cornea severely affect the way we see the world making simple tasks, like driving, watching TV or reading a book difficult.
The age of onset of keratoconus can vary from early teens to people in their 40’s or older. Although cases in which keratoconus is first diagnosed at an earlier age usually result in more advanced progression, it is not unusual for the disease to progress up to a certain point and then stabilize. The continued thinning of the cornea usually progresses slowly for 5 to 10 years and then tends to stop. Occasionally, it is rapidly progressive.
Yes, in approximately 90% of keratoconus cases the disease will manifest itself in both eyes. The rate of progression and the timing of the onset of the disease however is typically different for each eye.
The earliest signs of keratoconus are usually blurred vision and frequent changes in eye glass prescription, or vision that cannot be corrected with glasses. Symptoms of keratoconus generally begin in late teenage years or early twenties, but can start at any time.