Keratoconus is specifically a progressive form of visual disorder characterized by distorted vision when normally round-shaped cornea becomes thin and stretches considerably near its center position, as a result of which the cornea tends to bulge outward or forward into a cone-like shape. Owing to the formation of this unusual cone shape of the cornea the light which enters the eyes automatically deflects particularly in its way towards the light-sensitive retina, which is the exact reason behind distorted vision.
This progressive eye disease may affect both eyes, though the degree of progression in each eye might differ accordingly. Keratoconus therefore usually occurs in one or even both eyes, but the inequality is normally not tremendous. In general, the sign of this disease tends to initiates during teenage or even in early 20s.
In order to understand Keratoconus better it is essential to have a clear idea about cornea and retina. The clear surface visible at the front of any eyeball is termed as cornea. The usual action of cornea is to refract the light which enters the eye directly onto the lenses of the eye so the focus can be directly projected on to the retina. Now in order to get right keratoconus disorder treatment you need to know the particular causes, signs and symptoms of the disease in order to get immediate attention of an optometrist.
Though until a few days back the cause of keratoconus was unknown, now new studies and dedicated research have come with new explanation of cause behind this progressive eye disorder.
- Particularly, the imbalance of certain enzymes within the cornea can be one of the potential reasons behind weakening of the corneal tissue that leads to keratoconus. The imbalance of enzymes particularly makes the cornea exceptionally susceptible to damages. Now whenever it comes in direct contact with free radicals suspended in air, it becomes vulnerable to oxidative damage from these compounds which triggers the cornea to bulge forward.
- The susceptibility to damage from oxidative damages is also often linked with genetic predisposition which is why more than one member of the same family is often found to be affected by Keratoconus.
- This disease is also often connected with overexposure to UV rays of the sun, and people working outside who usually get exposed to the rays of sun often get subjected to this disease.
- Again some other reasons which are considered to be triggering agents of the disorder include excessive rubbing of eye, persistent use of poor fitting contact lenses and suffering of extreme eye irritation.
- According to some keratoconus also occurs due to chronic allergies such as asthma or eczema.
Signs and Symptoms
Keratoconus does not essentially lead to comprehensive blindness; however keratoconus disorder treatment in right time can save one from severe vision impairment. Some of the common symptoms of this disease include:
- Keratoconus is often accompanied with blurry vision in one or both eyes along with frequent squinting, strenuous efforts to get clear vision and headaches.
- Double vision which simultaneous occurrence of two images overlapping each other can also be one of the signs.
- Poor night vision is also yet another common condition of Keratoconus that can lead to blurred vision, nearsightedness or even night blindness.
- Again frequent changes of glasses or contact lenses can also lead to clouding of eye’s natural lens and bulging of the cornea.