Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that causes a thinning of the clear front surface of the eye (cornea) and distorts the cornea into a cone-like shape. Keratoconus causes distorted vision that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses. Most cases of keratoconus become apparent during a person’s teens or early 20s. It can affect one or both eyes.
Keratoconus symptoms and signs
As the cornea becomes more irregular in shape, it causes progressive nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism to develop, creating additional problems with distorted and blurred vision. Glare and light sensitivity also commonly occur with keratoconus. A person with keratoconus often experiences changes in their eyeglass prescription every time they visit their eye doctor.
What causes Keratoconus?
New research suggests the weakening of the corneal tissue that leads to keratoconus may be due to an imbalance of enzymes within the cornea. This imbalance makes the cornea more susceptible to oxidative damage from compounds called free radicals, causing it to weaken and bulge forward.