When dealing with keratoconus, our Vegas eye doctor at Walmart Vision Center of Las Vegas, explains that we see through our cornea, which is the clear, central part of the front surface of your eye. Usually, your cornea has a dome shape, somewhat like a ball. Sometimes, however, the structure of your cornea is simply not strong enough to hold this round shape and your cornea bulges outward like a cone. This condition is called keratoconus. Normally, tiny fibers of protein in your eye called collagen, help hold your cornea in place and keep it from bulging. When these fibers become weak, they can no longer hold the shape and your cornea becomes increasingly more cone shaped.
Since keratoconus seems to run in families, if you have children, our Vegas eye doctor thinks it’s a good idea to have their eyes checked for it starting at age 10. The condition also happens more often in people with certain medical problems, including specific allergic conditions. Some studies have also shown that the condition could possibly be related to chronic eye rubbing but, most often, there is no eye injury or disease that can explain why the eye starts to change. Keratoconus usually starts in the teenage years but can, however, begin in childhood, or in people up to age 30. It’s less common for it to occur in people 40 and older. There is no specific time frame with keratoconus and changes in the shape of your cornea can happen quickly or may occur over several years. The changes may result in blurred vision, the streaking of lights, and glare and halos at night.
In most people who have keratoconus, both eyes are eventually affected, although not always to the same extent. The condition usually develops in one eye first and then later in the other eye. The changes to your cornea can make it impossible for the eye to focus without the help of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Our Vegas eye doctor has also seen cases where a corneal transplant was needed to restore vision because the condition was severe.