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Approximately 50 to 200 of every 100,000 people are afflicted with keratoconus.

In the USA, a study found a prevalence of 54.5 per 100,000 people (Kennedy et al, Am J Ophthalmol 1986; 100:267-73).


Keratoconus (KC) is a disease that affect all races and are characterized by a progressive protrusion and thinning of the cornea of both eyes. There is a genetic factor of less than 10%, as a general rule, but hereditary components of Keratoconus has not been clearly established. The reason for this is that other factors like allergies and contact lens wear makes analysis difficult.


People with Keratoconus cannot get best vision from spectacles because of the distortion in the corneal surface that scatters light and prevent a sharp image forming on the back of the retina. Here the optics of hard contact lenses has proved to improve the vision significantly and are therefore a more successful way of restoring functional vision than spectacles.


As the disease progresses it can lead to corneal scarring and hydrops In these cases the only option to improve vision is to have a corneal transplant, especially if hydrops does not resolve. This said, if the cornea is still reasonably transparent although distorted and irregular, corneal transplants should be the last resort, as many people can have great functional vision for many years by simply wearing speciality contact lenses.


The best treatment available to stop the progression is corneal cross linking . If the progression can be stopped or significantly slowed down, the need for corneal transplants is even less. This makes the wear of speciality contact lenses a successful lifelong option to provide adequate and even great functional vision. For this reason, corneal cross linking should be done as soon as possible. In teenage years when the conditions appears or even younger in children under 10 years old, if diagnosed this early.


There are hope and treatment options for Keratoconus and it does not have to mean blindness if detected early and the best treatment and management options followed.


Articles I have written on Keratoconus

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