Many people think of refractive errors when the topic of poor vision comes up. While nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism do cause many people to seek corrective lenses and laser eye surgery, there are many other conditions that can cause poor vision quality as well as diminished eye health.
The team at our Austin, TX eye care center would like to consider keratoconus, a condition that affects roughly 1 in every 2,000 people. We’ll note the basics of it first and then discuss the most common symptoms and warning signs.
Keratoconus is a progressive condition in which the shape of the eye is more oblong or cone-shaped than round. Traditionally, the eye shape is thought of as a sphere, but keratoconus causes the eye to resemble a football.
If a patient has thin corneas, the pressure within the eye will result in the change in eye shape. Keratoconus may affect both eyes or just one eye, and there are varying degrees of severity. Knowing what to look out for will help you get treatment sooner rather than later.
The most common symptom of keratoconus is blurry vision. As keratoconus gets worse and the shape of the eye becomes even more conical, the patient will experience blurrier vision. Double vision may also occur when the blurring is particularly severe.
Distortion of Vision
In addition to a general blurring of a patient’s vision, keratoconus can also lead to visual distortions. Straight lines may appear curved to someone with keratoconus, for example. A common vision test to assess this will involve the patent looking at a grid and noting any distortions they see.
Keratoconus has been known to cause acute sensitivity to light, particularly as the condition becomes worse. Some people who suffer from keratoconus may find being outdoors without sunglasses or a hat quite difficult given their heightened light sensitivity.
Glare and Halos
In addition to light sensitivity, glare and halos are also common in people who suffer from keratoconus. Bright colors and bright lights at night may be particularly extreme, or have a glow around them.
Keratoconus can contribute to irritated or uncomfortable eyes. This is due to the change in shape of the eyes and other factors. Patients may find themselves rubbing their eyes more often because of the condition.
With extra rubbing and eye irritation, frequent red eye is not uncommon among people who suffer from keratoconus. Swelling around the eyes may also be an issue depending on how serious the irritation becomes.
Worsening Nearsightedness and Astigmatism
As the shape of the eye changes, this will typically result in worsening nearsightedness or astigmatism. Patient may notice a need to replace their current glasses with a new prescription because of the changes to their vision quality.
Difficulty Wearing Contacts
When keratoconus alters the shape of the eyes, contact lenses may not fit properly any longer. Even soft contact lenses may not feel comfortable to wear. As with glasses, discomfort while wearing contacts is typically preceded by changes in your vision prescription.
Learn More About Keratoconus
For more information about keratoconus and how it can have a negative impact on your vision, be sure to contact the team at Broberg Eye Care. Our vision specialists and eye care experts are here to help you see clearly again.