Kerato means Cornea (Front transparent portion of the eye) and Conus means cone like. As the name suggests, in keratoconus, cornea becomes distorted and has thin point protruding forward. Cornea is transparent structure which focusses light rays onto retina. If cornea becomes distorted in shape then clarity of image is lost and even object looks distorted to the eye.
WHAT IS KERATOCONUS?
Keratoconus (KC) is the condition in which the cornea becomes thin and slowly bulges outwards to form a cone shape. This cone shaped cornea also has an irregular surface which leads to blurred vision. It usually affects both the eyes.
Its typical presentation in in early 20 years of age. It runs in family. Due to change in the shape of cornea, patients present with frequent change in glasses. Usually they have irregular astigmatism. Even the best corrected visual acuity is not 100 % in most of the cases. In later stages, cornea may get swollen up or scarred leading loss of vision.
WHAT CAUSES KERATOCONUS?
Exact pathogenesis of KCN is unknown.
Risk factors include a history of eye allergies, rigid contact lens wear and vigorous rubbing of the eyes.
KCN is seen in connective tissue disorders, Down’s syndrome, Mitral Valve prolapse (a disease of the heart valves) and Atopic Dermatitis (a skin disease).