In many cases of vision impairment, the cause of blurry or unclear vision is simply the result of a misshaped cornea or a natural aging and weakening of the eye. However, in some cases, a change in vision can be indicative of an eye disease or a disorder such as keratoconus. Keratoconus refers to a cone-shaped cornea that develops as the cornea begins to thin as the result of an excess of enzymes that break down the proteins in the eyes. This condition, which often starts when a patient is in his or her teens or early 20s, can cause blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, and glares. Keratoconus causes are believed to be primarily genetic in nature. By understanding what causes keratoconus we know which patients are vulnerable to this condition and can provide early treatment and continual monitoring of this disorder. To learn more about keratoconus causes, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™ today.
What Causes Keratoconus
Keratoconus develops when enzymes in the eye break down the proteins in the surface of the cornea, causing it to thin and protrude. This gives the cornea an unnatural cone shape that may result in a number of visual disturbances. It is believed that keratoconus is a genetic condition that is passed down. If a family member suffers from keratoconus, it is more likely that you will also produce excessive enzymes that can result in changes to the cornea.
It is helpful to know that keratoconus is a genetic condition because it allows our eye doctors at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ to monitor this condition. We can be on the lookout for early symptoms when we know that a patient is predisposed to this condition. Patients who know they are genetically susceptible to keratoconus can also take certain precautions to help slow the progression of this disorder. For instance, excessive rubbing of the eyes can wear on the cornea and can speed up the progression of keratoconus. For this reason, those patients who do suffer from keratoconus, or those who have family members with this condition, should be especially careful to avoid rubbing the eyes.
While we cannot prevent keratoconus for our patients, there are treatments to improve the symptoms of this disorder, and even to halt its progression. Chicago Cornea Consultants™ is one of the few practices in the United States to offer collagen cross-linking, or CXL, which is believed to strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of keratoconus. Because blurry vision is a common problem for those who suffer from keratoconus, we can provide patients with glasses or contact lenses that will provide sharper, clearer vision. For patients who have reached advanced stages of this disorder, we also offer surgical treatment. A corneal transplant can replace damaged corneal tissue with healthy donor tissue.
Schedule an Appointment
At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd., our eye doctors can meet your full range of eye health needs. Whether you are experiencing abnormal vision or are simply due for your routine eye health exam, we’d be happy to help. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to meet with one of our skilled eye doctors. We look forward to hearing from you!