To call your vision important is an understatement as you rely on this sense to make your way safely through the world. While vision issues such as being nearsighted or farsighted are common and easily correctable, we want to discuss a more serious eye condition in this month’s blog post — keratoconus.
This condition is relatively rare, only affecting about 1 per 2,000 people, and one of the keys to successfully treating keratoconus is early intervention.
So, to help you recognize the early stages of this eye condition, Dr. Curtis Frank and the team here at Vision and Ortho-K Center pulled together 4 signs that keratoconus may be present.
Characteristics of keratoconus
Before we dive into the symptoms of keratoconus, we want to provide you with a few details about this condition.
With keratoconus, your corneas thin and bulge outward into a cone shape. This usually occurs in both of your eyes and typically comes on between the ages of 10 and 25.
We don’t know what causes keratoconus, but there are some risk factors. For example, 1 out of 10 people with the condition have a parent who has it. Other risk factors include:
- Eye allergies
- Excessive eye rubbing
- Having Down syndrome
- Connective tissue diseases
Now, let's get into the signs of keratoconus.
There are several potential side effects of keratoconus, including:
1. Blurry vision
As the corneas thin and become misshapen, you can experience a gradual loss of clear vision. At first, you might experience a mild blurriness or cloudiness, which can get worse over time as the shape of your corneas continues to change.
2. Sensitivity to light
Another hallmark of keratoconus is sensitivity to light. Like the blurriness, this sensitivity starts out small — seeing at night can become increasingly difficult, for example. Eventually, this sensitivity has you shying away from any type of glare.
3. Distorted vision
At the same time as your vision gets progressively blurrier, you might also encounter distortions in your vision. Straight lines can appear wavy, for example.
4. Redness and/or swelling in your eyes
People with keratoconus can also experience redness in their eyes, as well as minor swelling that can make your eyes uncomfortable or itchy.
Early intervention for keratoconus is key
If you recognize any of the symptoms we outline above, in yourself or a loved one, we suggest you come see us as soon as possible. With early intervention, we can manage the condition and prevent it from progressing. Through specialized contact lenses, we can not only improve your vision, we can better guide the shape of the corneas.
For expert diagnosis and treatment of keratoconus, please make an appointment at one of our offices in Boston or Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts.