Once the cornea begins to change shape, vision is affected. Because the cornea does much of the eye’s focusing, a change in shape results in blurred vision, and sometimes, light sensitivity and ghost images. As keratoconus progresses, you may notice that glasses become less effective at improving your vision. Contact lenses can also become less effective, and uncomfortable to wear, as the cornea becomes more conical.
It is not known exactly what causes keratoconus. However, it is thought to be an inherited condition, so you’re more likely to have keratoconus if one of your parents has it. New Zealand is also known to have a relatively high prevalence of keratoconus, compared with other countries.
Some studies have connected keratoconus with conditions such as asthma and eczema, and also with excessive eye rubbing.
Treatments are varied, and include contact lenses, Keraring corneal implants and corneal transplants. An advanced new treatment called corneal collagen cross-linking has been shown to stop and even partly reverse the effects of keratoconus, and is also available here at Eye Institute.