Keratoconus: Causes and Symptoms

Keratoconus is a word that comes from the combination of two Greek words – ‘kerato’ meaning cornea and ‘konos’ meaning cone. Keratoconus is a degenerative eye illness that causes the cornea to thin and bulge, assuming a cone-shaped appearance that weakens the cornea’s stability. Keratoconus and receiving keratoconus treatment affects one in every two thousand people around the world, and its severity differs from one individual to the other.

The eye disease typically manifests itself in teenagers and young adults between age 10 and 25, but its progressive. Its exact cause is unknown although various factors have been attributed to its occurrence or its acceleration, including hereditary issues and rubbing of the eyes respectively. Keratoconus can affect one or both eyes, or it can start with one eye before progressing to the other one. It can also affect each eye differently.

What are the signs and symptoms of Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a slowly developing but progressive disease that may be easy to notice in some people and challenging in others. In some people, the cornea changing shape may be fast and noticeable while in others it may not. However, there are other signs and symptoms that could suggest you are suffering from the disease and perhaps need a diagnosis for Keratoconus treatment.

They include:

  •    Increased light sensitivity
    •    A blurred or distorted vision that often ends up in double vision
    •    Frequent changes in eyeglasses prescriptions
    •    Difficulty seeing or driving at night
    •    Eye strains
    •    Vision problems that can no longer be corrected with glasses
    •    Headaches and general eye pains
    •    Eye irritation which causes excessive eye rubbing

Most of these symptoms can be associated with many other eye problems; hence it’s often difficult to tell if a person has Keratoconus during its early stages of materialization. The disease requires a diagnosis from a competent ophthalmologist trained not only in the observation of the illness’s signs and symptoms, but also Keratoconus treatment through all methods available including surgery.

What are the causes of Keratoconus?

The real cause of Keratoconus is unknown, but researchers and eye doctors have suggested several factors that may lead to the disease’s occurrence. They include:

  •    Hereditary factors
    •    Injuries or damage to the cornea
    •    Chronic eye irritation and excessive eye rubbing
    •    Allergies and other pre-existing medical conditions
    •    Prolonged use of contact lenses
    •    An imbalance of the enzymes in the cornea leading to the weakening of the corneal tissue
    •    Other eye conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa

Keratoconus is believed to be mostly transmitted through genes. In fact, over 14% of all the reported cases can be shown to have a genetic transmission. If you have any of the above signs and symptoms, make sure to visit an eye doctor for Keratoconus treatment or diagnosis as soon as possible.