Keratoconus: Symptoms and Warning Signs By Walter Choate on September 28, 2017

Looking at an eye chart for vision testingThe team at our Nashville eye care practice prides itself on meeting the needs of all patients. We take time to carefully diagnose an eye condition, and then work to develop the right treatment for the patient based on their needs.

When it comes to keratoconus, proper treatment typically means detecting the condition early and getting the issue under control as soon as possible. Let's go over the basics of keratoconus and the signs and symptoms associated with this vision issue.

What Is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus refers to a condition in which a person's eye is more conical or oblong than round, with a bulging outward in the front portion of the eye where the cornea is located. The condition tends to be detectable starting around age 10, though it may start to become apparent into a person's mid-twenties.

It's possible for keratoconus to progress over the course of 10 years, gradually becoming worse and worse and affecting vision quality in the process. In serious cases of the condition, the cornea may become scarred due to the bulging and distortion.

What Causes Keratoconus?

The exact cause of keratoconus has yet to be determined. Research is continuing with regard to the cause.

With this in mind, we'll touch on some potential causes when we discuss keratoconus risk factors below.

Common Symptoms of Keratoconus

Some of the most common symptoms of keratoconus are as follows:

  • Distorted/Blurry Vision – As your eye bulges outward, light will not be able to focus properly on the retina. As a result, you'll notice issues with blurry vision or distorted vision if you have keratoconus.

  • Frequent Changes in Vision Prescription – As keratoconus progresses, it can lead to changes in your glasses or contact lens prescription. If your prescription changes frequently and regularly, it may be a sign keratoconus.

  • Issues with Light Sensitivity – In addition to causing distorted vision, the changes in the shape of your eye can also affect your sensitivity to light. This is true of bright lights during the day as well as your night vision.

  • Clouding of Vision – People with keratoconus often experience clouding of fogging of their vision, which can sometimes occur quite suddenly.

Keratoconus Risk Factors

The following are some key risk factors associated with keratoconus:

  • Family History – As with many other medical issues, if keratoconus runs in your family, you are more likely to experience this condition.

  • Rubbing Your Eyes Frequently – People with keratoconus may run their eyes more frequently than people who don't. This may be caused by eye irritation from the bulging cornea.

In addition to the above matters, doctors often diagnose keratoconus when a person has other medical conditions that may not necessarily involve vision or the eyes. Examples include the following:

  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Down syndrome
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Hay fever
  • Asthma

Treatments for Keratoconus

There are many treatments for keratoconus depending on the severity of the condition. For minor to moderate keratoconus, hard contact lenses can help keep the bulging under control. For severe keratoconus that results in scarring of the corneas and other issues, surgery may be recommended, such as corneal inserts or corneal transplant.

The ideal treatment option for you can be determined during a consultation at our practice.

Learn More About Keratoconus

For more information about treating keratoconus and helping you experience improved vision, be sure to contact our advanced vision care practice today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.

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Dr. Choate

Choate Eye Associates

Choate Eye Associates has been delivering high-quality, compassionate eye care to the Nashville community since 1979. We are affiliated with various leading organizations in the field, including: 

  • American Academy of Optometry
  • American Optometric Association 
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry 

To schedule a consultation at our practice, call us at (615) 851-7575 or request an appointment online

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"I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam." Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient

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