The cornea is the clear window at the front of your eye. It is responsible for protecting your eye and focusing the light onto your retina. Keratoconus is a condition which occurs when the cornea thins out and changes shape to become less spherical and more like a cone. When this happens, the vision goes out of focus and causes blurry and distorted vision. Due to the irregular shape, glasses and standard contact lenses cannot provide clear vision.
It typically affects younger persons in their teens and twenties, but can be present and symptomatic in any patient.
While its causes are not all known, there is certainly a genetic component, and it can be worsened by eye rubbing in the setting of allergies and dry eye.
The Washington Eye Institute offers full-service keratoconus care, including screening, management, corneal crosslinking to halt progression, corneal transplants in severe cases, as well as medical optometry for fitting of special contact lenses to improve vision in patients with corneal irregularity.