Keratoconus means “cone-shaped cornea.” An uncommon condition, keratoconus involves the thinning of the cornea, or the clear “front window” of the eye that focuses light entering the eye to give you clear vision. This condition changes the cornea's normally round contour to a cone-like bulge, causing distorted vision. This makes activities like driving, using a computer, watching television, or reading more difficult. Keratoconus sometimes produces scar tissue that causes the cornea to lose its smooth texture and affects your ability to see clearly.
Keratoconus usually affects both eyes, but the symptoms experienced with one eye may be different than those experience with the other eye. The symptoms of keratoconus typically begins during a person’s late teens and early twenties and may include:
- Mild blurring of vision
- Slight distortion of vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Mild irritation
- Increased nearsightedness or astigmatism
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
While the cause of keratoconus is unknown, some researchers believe that genetics plays a role.