Did you know?
Keratoconus is fairly uncommon and is usually found in young people from around puberty age to early twenties. This condition can be detected during a routine eye test, so it’s important to yours tested regularly.
Causes of keratoconus
Keratoconus is a complex condition and its cause is not yet understood. Although it has been thought that certain factors can play a significant role. These include:
- Family members who have the condition
- Underlying allergies
- Conditions that cause excessive eye rubbing – which could weaken the cornea
Your optometrist will review your medical history and carry out an eye exam. If keratoconus is suspected, measurements of the shape of the cornea, particularly over time, will help to determine if it is present.
Treatment for keratoconus
The best treatment for keratoconus will depend on its severity and how quickly it is progressing. You optician will be able to advise on what’s best for you.
Glasses or contact lenses can help with mild cases. For most people, their cornea will become stable after a few years and it’s likely that they won’t experience severe vision problems or require further treatment.
In a small number of cases, the cornea becomes so irregular and thinned that the cornea develops scarring and wearing contact lenses, even highly specialised ones, will not be possible. If this happens, you might need to consider surgery. You’ll be referred to see a specialist who will be able to determine the best type of treatment or surgery for you.
Only in the rarest of circumstances will keratoconus lead to severe vision difficulties. However, the condition can progress to a level where poor vision can affect your normal life.
Typically, keratoconus starts at puberty or in the teenage years and slowly progresses over 10 to 20 years to become stable.
In the early stages, your optometrist will be able to advise if glasses or contact lenses are the best course of treatment for you. If the condition continues to progress, referral to a corneal specialist will be required to consider further treatment options, depending on the severity of the keratoconus.
Did you know an eye test could save your life?
For some of our customers, an appointment with Specsavers has not only saved their vision but in some cases it has saved their lives.
We’re working with the National Council for the Blind Ireland (NCBI) to defend the nation against avoidable sight loss, and support those with eyesight difficulties.