What is Keratoconus?
The eye has a clear, front surface called a cornea. Usually the cornea is flat and round, but Keratoconus causes it to grow thin and bulge outwards in a cone shape, distorting the vision.
Who can have Keratoconus?
Keratoconus can occur in children as young as eight, but is seen more commonly in young adults and those in their fifties or sixties. Children who have a parent with Keratoconus may need to be checked as there is a slight chance they may also develop the condition.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms will vary as the condition progresses. They may include blurred or distorted vision (astigmatism), short-sightedness, sensitivity to light or glare, Discomfort in the eyes and will result in frequent changes in specialist prescriptions.
Living with Keratoconus
While it is not likely that you will lose all of your sight, your vision may decrease to the point where help from others is needed in order to stay independent. driving, reading and using technology may be affected if the condition gets severe enough. Many people with Keratoconus wear specialist contact lenses and/or sunglasses to help control their worsening vision, while others may need a surgical procedure called cornea crosslinking or, in the most severe cases, a cornea transplant. Consult your eye doctor for all the options.
Because you will be unlikely to lose all of your sight, you may be able to continue using your favourite phone, tablet or computer with the addition of magnification. However, as the condition varies so widely and changes occur frequently you may find that using screen reading software will serve you better in the long term. Elise Lonsdale and the team at Data Australasia can provide you with qualified and empathetic help so you can decide how to maintain your independence and move forward.