Keratoconus

eye-chartKeratoconus literally means conical or cone-shaped cornea. If you have the condition, you will see how apt a name this is, as look closely in a mirror and you will see how your eye seems to bulge out in the middle. How large a bulge depends on how advanced the condition is. This bulge is the cornea only, so you do not have to worry that your entire eye is making a bid to explode.

The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye and, together with the lens, it focuses light and is responsible for a large part of the process that helps us see. Hence, a condition that mutates it has a large impact on a person’s vision. So, though Keratoconus does not end in blindness, it can and sometimes does severely damage sight.

Keratoconus is a degenerative disease of unknown cause (though genetic factors have been suggested, as well as an array of other options, none of which have been proved unequivocally). It tends to begin in a person’s teenage years (though by no means always) and will degenerate over time. How much the bulge steepens depends on the individual case, and there is no set rate of degeneration.

As the bulge gets bigger and the sides of the cornea get steeper, the cornea can stretch and, therefore, scar and get thinner. This can cause short-sightedness. It is normal for one eye to start and progress quicker than the other.

The condition is easily treatable with a vast array of contact lenses and in the majority of cases these lenses will correct the problem for an entire lifetime. However, in some cases the condition may progress to a level where surgery becomes an option. A corneal graft is the current surgical option of choice.

The thing to remember is that, in most cases, Keratoconus is an irritating condition, but not one that should impact upon your life as it is easily corrected.

I have very advanced Keratoconus in both eyes, which looks like this:

Right Eye

Left Eye

Some information taken from the Moorfields Hospital website and the Keratoconus UK Self Help and Support Group

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17 thoughts on “Keratoconus

  1. Another, non-surgical treatment available to keratoconus sufferers is cross-linking, which involves the use of special drops that strengthen the cornea when activated by UV light. This can slow or even halt the progression of keratoconus.

    For more information on this treatment, please visit Advance VisionCare’s web site at http://www.advancevisioncare.co.uk, referring to information under the ‘Keratoconus’ heading.

  2. Hi, I know everyone’s experiences are different but I often read that keratoconus can’t cause blindness but I am living proof that this is not the case. My KC has gotten so bad I have been registered blind, have had to stop driving and working as have been in agony. I have been lucky to have a partial corneal transplant in one eye which (touch wood) has restored some useful vision in my right eye. In 2 weeks time I am due to have the left eye transplanted also have my stitches out of my first eye. Just thought I’d let you know…. Fingers crossed not too many people have suffered the way I have. All is on the up now thanks to an amazing surgeon and I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂

  3. Hi..my name is Shalanda and my son also has been diagnosed as being legally blind..He has keratoconus and has suffered with it since he was about 13 yrs old….He has had a partial transplant also but unfortunately it helped for a lil while and now we are back to the same thing as before….He just lost his contact 3/3/2013 and when he found it,it was cracked in half..now he has to sit at home can’t drive,work,care for his kids or anything because of this…With most people being unaware of this disease and not knowing what this disease is its difficult for some people with kertoconus…. when something happens to where they cant attend work…instead of supervisors asking questions or looking this disease up they just go on what they think they know and that is unfair…educate yourselves on it or ask that person to bring in documentation about it so that u can understand…My son Jamieun is a very highly intelligent young man…He is now 24 yrs old,married with two beautiful kids…

  4. Shardul singh says:

    hi
    first of all I am both happy and sad to know that there are other people having a same defect as mine
    I was diagnosed of keratoconus a year back in both my eyes.my left eye was pretty bad at that time and was told to do C3R in my left eye. after the C3R i immediately got hydrops in a months time and the vision was very blur. i presently living with just one eye’s vision.just before 3 months i was asked to do C3R for my right eye too, but i was avoiding it as much as i could. but few docs said me that if i avoid C3R the thickness of my cornea would be below safe limit and after that only option would be to transplant it.so i did C3R in my right eye too just 3 months before.During this time i also underwent a minor surgery in my left eye(in which a gas bubble was injected and sutures were put ) after which hydrops were gone leaving behind scar in my left eye while the vision remaining same(blur).But after C3R in right eye i directly got scar at smaller portion presently.
    i have ordered SCLERAL lens for both eyes, after i went through your case, i am also thinking of avoiding cornea transplantation and waiting for cornea to heal by itself as in tour case.

    i am 19 year old presently.and i am worried because every thing from initial stage to hydrop to scar within 3-4 months. After using scleral lense eye sight of the right eye is recovered completely, and with left eye I could see a improved but little blurred image.
    ADVICE ME PLEASE

  5. Jon Severs says:

    Hi there – it’s a personal choice whether to wait it out – I did but then it suited my situation. I was blind in one eye for nearly a year but then things cleared and I have never looked back. I was lucky i guess. If you can put up with it I would give the eye as much time to heal as you can! Good luck

  6. Vignesh says:

    Hi,
    I was given a hint by my optometrist 3 years back, that I may have a mind case of keratoconus. I did not take heed then… 2 years later, when my condition worsened enough, i went to another optometrist, who referred me to a corneal chief at Tufts Boston. He confirmed KC and told me that my left is worse that right. Though i could continue to grow bad. After some thought , i agreed to do CXL. I am scheduled for october this year. I know this cannot improve visual acuity… I just hope it does not deteriorate further.

    Anyone done CXL before? How are you guys doing? Please let me know.

  7. Lucky D. Underwood says:

    12/12/2013 My name is Lucky D. Underwood. I have Keratoconus in both eyes. One is Mild the other is so severe that I am legally blind 20/200 in the right eye even with correction. My left is 20/80 with correction. I simply just can not afford it so the other option is Disability the issue is if I am correct I must be blind in both 20/200? But I can not drive because I must be 20/60 in one good eye. Then how can you go to work then? I have Keratoconus but eye doctor was able to keep my vision at 20/60 to drive but my vision has got worse & forced to quit my job. The Rigid Gas Perms has come to a point that I can not wear them. So what is one to do? Would SSI or SSD consider if I can not wear RGP due to my eye can no longer tolerate the eye pain which it does in both eyes. I wore these 12+hrs due to work for 7yrs. Now with out the lens I am 20/200 in both eyes. My left eye barely misses the E because it looks like an 8 to me. I can see what the dark color but can not make it out but my right I simply can not see the blackness I am that blind in my right eye at CF Counting Fingers @ 6 inches can not see past that. I have no job. No car had to sell it. My eyes are just in pain & headaches. I did apply for Disability as everybody knows you are more & likely to get denied 99% of the time. I was denied because of 2011 eye exam. I should have know to get up to date. I yet to read about anyone on Disability because of Keratoconus. I understand there is Cornea Transplants but not everybody can afford it. I have an appeal in about 6 months & have evidence of eye exam, etc. No doubt right eye is deemed legally blind. The question will be the left no lens 20/200 with it 20/80 but I can not wear these RGP lens they cause my eye to get red & hurt allot. So what am I suppose to do work blind? I asked the eye doctor that question about can not wear the lens anymore he said that is common & if that is the case then other option is cornea transplant. Now some people who does not know about Keratoconus will say well you can you wear glasses? A eye doctor can tell you It is possible to correct regular astigmatism with glasses & takes for-ever to explain why. So anybody? What do you think the judge will say? P.S. I am aware of the Lions Club the donations places, etc. well I am not having any luck there either. I am just having bad luck period.

  8. Zafar khan Durani says:

    Hi
    I have the same problem in both eyes since 17 years while more progressive in left eye
    I am leaving in of the developing countries so there is no treatment
    I would be glad if you could tell me the name of hydrops in order to use them for stopping the progress
    Of keratoconus

    Thanks
    Zafar khan Durani

  9. Vision 4 All says:

    I have learn a lot from your forum about keratoconus problems. I have developed a interactive app to help keratinous patients choose treatment.
    http://thekeratoconus.com/Latest-Keratoconus-Treatment-interactive-tour.html
    Kindly view and give feedback.

  10. Swami141 says:

    A non surgerical treatment PanchaKarma in AYURVEDA which is not approved by allopathy because both have controversy, But according to my experience it is helpful in heeling of hydrop and restoring and arresting Keratoconus in earlier stage and other disease. This process is also related from our digestive system ,So first correct it . I also suggest that take a simple (not spices food) and nutrient food. This procedure also taken simultaneous with conservative approach to reducing time. Also visit http://www.lakayur.com/h_model.php?t=Keratoconus&i=3&s=t. This procedure is also costly and time taken but in India it is free of cost in some Government Hospitals.

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