What is Keratoconus?



Keratoconus is a corneal disorder where the cornea (the front “windshield” of the eye) undergoes progressive thinning and steepening resulting in increased amounts of astigmatism and decreased best corrected vision.


Normal Cornea

Keratoconic Cornea


Keratoconus affects 1 in 2000 people. Most cases involve both eyes, frequently in an assymmetric fashion. For many, keratoconus is very slowly progressive and vision remains very correctable with standard glasses or contact lenses. For some, keratoconus can be more progressive eventually leading to surgical options to maintain good vision.





Progressively blurred vision

Increasing amounts of astigmatism

Increasing difficulty to correct vision to 20/20





The diagnosis of keratoconus is often delayed at first until vision is noticed to not be correctable to 20/20 and/or a large increase in astigmatism occurs between eye exams.  Your doctor can perform a corneal topography test to detect early keratoconus.





As it pertains to vision, early keratoconus is treated with glasses or contact lenses.  Although initially soft contact lenses may work to achieve good vision, eventually rigid gas permeable or mini scleral contact lenses become necessary to correct the irregular corneal shape.  If contact lenses becomes intolerable, surgical options can be discussed.

Surgical options include corneal cross linking, intacs corneal ring segmentspenetrating keratoplasty and DALK (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty).