Keratoconus

This information is useful for adults and older adults
A teenager standing in a city at night, seen from the back of her head.
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  • Best surgical options and contact lens options available for keratoconus

Any disease that affects your eyesight can be frightening. Keratoconus, usually diagnosed in the late teens or early adult years, can change the shape of the cornea and distort vision, so it's important to find the right specialist to treat it.

At Yale Medicine, a cornea specialist will work closely with an optometrist to provide the best possible approach, whether you have a mild case of keratoconus, or you need medically necessary contact lenses or specialty surgery. “Our patients are in the center of the picture and have access to the best surgical options and the best lens options,” says Erica Leigh Volker, OD, clinical instructor in ophthalmology at Yale School of Medicine.

Keratoconus is marked by a progressive thinning of the cornea, the transparent dome-shaped front surface of the eye. As the cornea becomes thinner, it bulges outward and develops a cone-like shape. This irregular shape prevents light from being properly focused through the cornea toward the back of the eye.

People with keratoconus notice that their vision becomes blurry, and this symptom rapidly progresses (over a few months), usually beginning in their late teen or early adult years. Other symptoms include double vision and sensitivity to light. In most people with keratoconus, the vision distortion is worse in one eye than in the other eye.

“Keratoconus may be suspected in someone who requires frequent changes to his or her corrective eyeglass or contact lens prescription or who has glare that is not improved after new glasses,” says Dr. Volker.