What is Keratoconus?

What is Keratoconus?

Philadelphia is known for its history, culture, and impressive skyline. It’s also the birthplace of Keratoconus (KC). Today, over 100 years later, Philly can be known for leading KC research. Keratoconus in Philadelphia has some famous connections like the rapper Eve, who is currently affected by KC. It has also developed tools to better diagnose and treat Keratoconus (KC), which are being used across the globe.

Keratoconus: Description

Keratoconus is a severe eye disorder that causes the cornea to thicken and bulge outward in a cone shape. The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that helps focus light entering the eye. Keratoconus is a bilateral, non-inflammatory thinning of the central corneas, resulting in forward-bulging and myopic shift associated with loss of vision.

It has been estimated that over 3 million Americans have some degree of KC. The condition typically manifests at puberty and continues to progress throughout life, frequently leading to substantial visual impairment in later years. The cause of the disorder is unknown, and it is uncertain whether or not there is a genetic predisposition.

The disorder typically manifests at puberty and continues to progress throughout life, frequently leading to substantial visual impairment in later years. 

What Causes Keratoconus

People with Keratoconus have a family history of symptoms, including astigmatism, eye irritation, light sensitivity, distorted vision caused by glare from lights at night. The disorder typically manifests at puberty and continues to progress throughout life, frequently leading to substantial visual impairment in later years.

The cause of the disorder is unknown, and it is uncertain whether or not there is a genetic predisposition. The disease does not occur due to eye rubbing or excessive use of contact lenses.

Symptoms

The primary symptoms are an increase in astigmatism and corneal thinning, leading to progressive myopia, irregular astigmatism, and ultimately central corneal scarring. The disorder can manifest any time after puberty, but it usually starts between the ages of 10 and 30.

There are five classes of Keratoconus, each one labeled with a T followed by a number.

T1 – Mild, slight protrusion or irregular astigmatism

T2 – Moderate, moderate protrusion but which does not distort vision

T3 – Severe protrusion which distorts vision and can cause double or blurred vision

T4 – Very severe bulging to the extent that it causes irregular astigmatism or blurs vision when looking down

T5 – Severe, bulging to the point of causing irregular astigmatism when looking up at light sources. Since this symptom may not occur until later in life, some individuals may progress more quickly than others.

How is Keratoconus Diagnosed?

The first step is to see an eye doctor. Diagnosis of Keratoconus usually involves a comprehensive eye examination using both the slit lamp biomicroscope and the Scheimpflug Camera (Pentacam). The diagnosis is made from the clinical features and may be supported by a corneal topography or pachymetry.

Keratoconus (KC) is a bilateral, non-inflammatory thinning of the central corneas, resulting in forward bulging and myopic shift with associated loss of vision. It typically manifests at puberty and continues to progress throughout life, frequently leading to substantial visual impairment later. The cause of the disorder is unknown, and it is uncertain whether or not there is a genetic predisposition.


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