Answering Your Questions About Keratoconus

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Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2016 by Dr. Robert Mack

Most people rely heavily on the health of their eyes, and maintaining good eyesight can be a key factor in long-term quality of life. People seeking keratoconus treatment near Hoffman Estates often have questions about the condition. If you’ve been diagnosed with keratoconus or suspect that you may be suffering from this disease, understanding the symptoms and process for treatment can help lead to early diagnosis and finding the best treatment for you.

Who Gets Keratoconus?

The exact cause of keratoconus in unknown, but scientists believe that genetics, the endocrine system, and our environment can all play a part in the development of this disease. Keratoconus is diagnosed equally among men and women, but symptoms can sometimes differ depending on gender. It’s also found equally among nationalities and races, but some ethnic groups may experience more severe symptoms if they do develop this disease. People with allergies, Downs syndrome, or congenital amaurosis—a rare form of blindness—are more frequently diagnosed with keratoconus. Some scientists feel there is a link between long-term eye contact use or forceful eye rubbing in keratoconus patients.

What Are the Symptoms?

Keratoconus symptoms typically begin at a young age for patients, usually during their teenage years. These symptoms sometimes become progressively worse over the next one or two decades. Common early symptoms include having poor best-corrected vision, experiencing glare at night, and having better vision when they squint.

What Should You Expect from Diagnosis and Treatment?

Many people with keratoconus will notice a drastic decline in their vision, and may have had to get new eye prescriptions frequently. It is usually discovered that a patient suffers from keratoconus when they visit an ophthalmologist to determine the cause of their increasingly poor eyesight. Patients diagnosed with keratoconus sometimes experience swelling in the eye, or hydrops. This symptom can be treated with prescription eye drops. Advanced keratoconus can require surgery to correct the patient’s vision or even a corneal transplant. Luckily, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce your symptoms of keratoconus and slow the progression of this condition.