Keratoconus is a degenerative condition where the shape of the cornea progressively becomes more cone-like. The bulging, cone-shaped cornea distorts the light that travels to the retina, resulting in unclear images being passed to the brain hence reduced vision. It is a condition which gets progressively worse, and may eventually result in the splitting of the back surface of the cornea. This is known as acute corneal hydrops.
There are several symptoms of Keratoconus. These include:
change of vision
double vision when looking with just one eye
visual distortion of objects both close-up and far away
bright lights that look like they have halos around them
seeing ghost images
Discomfort with driving due to blurry vision
Tiny fibers of protein in the eye called collagen helps maintaining the biomechanics of the cornea and prevents it from bulging. When these fibers become weak, they cannot withhold the shape and the cornea becomes progressively more cone-shaped.
Keratoconus is also shown to be caused by a decrease in protective antioxidants in the cornea.
Allergic eye disease
Some genetic diseases such as Downs Syndrome
Early Keratoconus can be treated by powered glasses or contact lenses. The extent and progression of any keratoconus can be determined using an eye scan known as corneal topography. This assesses the shape of the cornea.
Progressing Keratoconus can be treated using collagen cross-linking (CXL). CXL is aimed at stabilizing the keratoconus.
Late Keratoconus can lead to scarring of the cornea, which leads to poor vision. In these cases, corneal transplantation is generally recommended to improve vision.