Identifying Keratoconus Symptoms

Keratoconus Symptoms - Hudson Valley, NY


Apr 5, 2018 @ 09:00 AM — by Richard Gordon
Tagged with: Keratoconus |

Digital illustration comparing a normal cornea to keratoconusThe outer layer of the eye, the cornea, is typically round and spherical. Patients who suffer from keratoconus have a bulging or cone-shaped cornea. Caused by a breakdown of collagen fibers within the eye, this condition can lead to significant vision problems. 

Our team at Palisades Laser Eye Center in Hudson Valley, NY explores some of the most common keratoconus symptoms. We discuss how to address these issues if they develop.

More about Keratoconus

Before taking a look at the common symptoms of keratoconus, we will briefly outline the basics of the condition. Keratoconus affects about one out of every 2,000 individuals. This progressive condition can occur in patients of all ages, although its onset is most common between the ages of 10 and 30. The cornea can transform gradually over time, or it can happen rather quickly. 

It is important to note the genetic component, as keratoconus tends to run in families. Therefore, if you or a relative have the condition, it is a good idea to have your child tested before he or she reaches the teenage years. 

In the sections below, we will consider some of the most frequent signs and symptoms associated with keratoconus.

Blurred Vision

The most common sign of keratoconus is blurred vision. This symptom will worsen as the cornea becomes more conical in shape. In acute cases, double vision may occur.  

Heightened Light Sensitivity

Another common symptom of keratoconus is light sensitivity. This typically begins as a minor annoyance and becomes worse the longer the condition progresses. Most patients with keratoconus cannot be outdoors without a hat or sunglasses, as the light can become quite intense. 

Distorted Vision

When the shape of the cornea changes, it can cause a variety of visual distortions. For example, in some instances, straight lines may appear curved. In some severe cases, double vision may occur. 

Redness of the Eyes

Those who have keratoconus could experience redness or swelling around the eyes. This is especially prevalent in individuals who rub their eyes excessively. 

Eye Irritation

Patients who previously did not rub their eyes may be inclined to do so after developing keratoconus, as the condition contributes to eye irritation and discomfort. However, it is important to avoid rubbing the eyes as much as possible to prevent further issues. 

Halos and Glare

Individuals with keratoconus may notice glares or halos around bright lights. This is often particularly evident at night. 

Difficulty Wearing Contacts

When eyes are spherical and round, contact lenses generally fit comfortably. However, when the cornea begins to change in shape, contact lenses, even soft lenses, can become uncomfortable to wear. If your contacts are beginning to irritate your eyes, keratoconus could be the culprit. 

Worsening Nearsightedness and Astigmatism

Because the overall shape of the cornea changes over time, it can directly affect your eyesight, resulting in vision changes. Therefore, you may notice an increase in your nearsightedness or worsening astigmatism. In these cases, your vision prescription will need to be updated to account for the changes. 

Contact Us for More Information

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed above, you could be suffering from keratoconus. During a consultation at our practice, our doctors can discuss your treatment options with you, so you can enjoy clear vision once again. You can call our office at (845) 364-9767 or contact us online anytime.