Published: Feb. 8, 2012
Updated: Mar. 16, 2012
Keratoconus is an eye condition in which the cornea gradually deteriorates such that the shape changes from a dome to a cone-like configuration. The change in corneal curvature leads to declining visual clarity.
Eye specialists have not determined the cause of keratoconus. Keratoconus can be inherited, but many patients with the disease to not have a family history of the disease. Research indicates allergies or eye rubbing may contribute to the deterioration of the cornea’s shape.
Early symptoms of keratoconus include blurred vision that can’t be corrected with glasses. Patients with keratoconus are typically nearsighted (myopic) and can have high degrees of astigmatism.
In its mild to moderate form, the blurred vision caused by keratoconus can be corrected with a rigid, gas permeable contact lens.
More advanced cases may benefit from corneal surgery, such as corneal transplant.
Newer treatment options also include:
Duke offers treatment for keratoconus and other types of corneal degeneration at the Duke Eye Center locations near Durham, Raleigh, Cary, Winston-Salem, and other parts of North Carolina. Learn how to make an appointment.