Keratoconus (or conical cornea) is a condition where the cornea becomes thin and stretched near its centre. As this progresses, normal eye pressure causes the round shape of the cornea to distort and an irregular cone-like bulge develops As a result vision becomes distorted.
Keratoconus does not cause total blindness, however, without treatment it can lead to significant vision impairment. With current treatments now available most patients with keratoconus are able to lead normal lifestyles.
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease, usually affecting both eyes. The degree of progression in each eye is often unequal, and it isn’t unusual for the condition to be significantly more advanced in one eye.
The cause of keratoconus remains unknown, although recent research seems to indicate that it may result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Some cases of keratoconus have a hereditary component and studies indicate that about 20% of keratoconus patients have affected relatives. If there is no evidence of keratoconus in successive generations of a family, there is less than a 1 in 10 chance of the children of a person with keratoconus also having the condition.
Other genetic diseases are associated with keratoconus, including Trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome), Marfan’s Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Oxidative stress may also be linked to the development of keratoconus. Under this theory, keratoconic corneas are unable to eliminate free radicals and self repair resulting structural damage like a normal cornea. This weakens the bonds in the cornea. There have been connections to allergy sufferers with asthma and eczema. It has also been found that poorly fitted contact lenses and excessive rubbing of the eye may contribute to the cause.
Moreton Eye Group has a Corneal Specialist, Dr John Hogden.
For an assessment of any of these conditions please contact us. To make an appointment with one of the Ophthalmologists please click on the I’m a Patient link or call us on 07 3283 3488 to discuss the steps and cost for further diagnosis.
Treatment is varied, from in clinic procedures to surgical Cornea transplants, Cross-linking and so on. These surgical procedures are performed at Moreton Day Hospital. Our close working relationship with this state of the art facility means that your surgical experience will be seamless from clinic to hospital, ensuring the best medical outcome for your procedure. For more information on the Moreton Day Hospital and this surgery, including costs, please see the website or call the friendly staff on 07 3487 1111.