Keratoconus is a progressive, corneal degeneration which causes irregular thinning of the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye. Keratoconus usually affects both eyes and usually develops during teenage or young adulthood. Symptoms of keratoconus include a frequent change in glasses and decreased vision. While the cause of keratoconus is largely unknown, both genetic and environmental factors are associated with its development. Keratoconus is often associated with eye rubbing and eye allergies and can be familial in inheritance.
Depending on the severity of keratoconus, treatment options can vary. Mild cases can often be corrected with glasses, soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses. More severe cases may require partial or full-thickness corneal transplants or corneal crosslinking. It is essential that all patients with keratoconus not rub their eyes.