Keratoconus: Causes, Symptoms, Signs, Diagnosis and Other Treatments

Topics: Contact lens, Keratoconus, Corneal transplantation Pages: 6 (1970 words) Published: February 7, 2007

Keratoconus is a disease of the eye that is common sometimes. This syndrome can affect many people who can have very serious problem. There are many different backgrounds of the keratoconus such as history, what is keratoconus, causes of the diseases, symptoms, signs and diagnosis, and other treatments.

Keratoconus was the first study by German oculist, Burchard Mauchart in a 1748, which he called staphyloma diaphnum. However, physician John Nottingham clearly described keratoconus as the cases of conical cornea and also he described several classical features of the diseases such as polyopia, weakness of the cornea, and difficulty matching corrective lenses to the patients vision. In 1859, a British surgeon named William Bowman to diagnose keratoconus used an ophthalmoscope to see the conical shape of the cornea. According to Wikipedia encyclopedia, Bowman also attempted to restore the vision by pulling on the iris with a fine hook inserted through the cornea and stretching the pupil into a vertical stenopeic slit like that of a cat. Bowman had a good success with that technique, as an example he restorted vision to an 18 year old woman who had previously been unable to count fingers at a distance of 8 inches (20cm). In 1888, the treatment of Keratoconus became one of the first practical applications of the newly invented contact lens, when the French physician Eugene Kalt manufactured a glass scleral shell, which improved vision by compressing the cornea into in more regular shape (Wikipidia 2). From that time, research of keratoconus has improved understanding of the disease and greatly expanded the choice of the treatment options.

Keratoconus is an eye condition named after the Greek Terms "kerato" which means cornea, and "conus" meaning cone, which also can be hearing a conical cornea (Wikipedia 1). There are three ecstatic corneal dystrophies such as Keratoconus, Kertoglobus, and Pellucid Marginal Corneal Degeneration. Out of three Keratoconus is more common. The cornea is normally a round or spherical shape, but with keratoconus the cornea blurs, distorts and assumes more of the cone shape. It is a disease that leads to the stromal thinning and the bowing forward of the affected cornea which may result in irregular myopic astigmatism, distortion of vision, increased sensitivity to glare and light and an associated reduction in visual acuity. It usually happens around puberty and then it becomes worse during the teens and the mid-20's and becomes stable by the late 20's. According to Angeles Vision Clinic article, "Over 90% of patients have involvement of both eyes, though it is not unusual for there to be asymmetric changes, with one eye being more involved than the other." However, each eye can be affected differently which can result in dramatic decrease in the ability to see clearly even with corrective lenses.

In a fact, about 1/2000 people will develop keratoconus. Most people will have a mild or moderate form of the disease. Less than 10% of keratoconics will develop the most severe form. However, many people have diagnosed in their mid to late thirties; this is usually a more mild form of the diseases. It's very common for one eye to precede faster than the other is, then it changes dramatically over a period of month.

The sign and symptom of kerataconus can be difficult to detect, because it comes on slowly. Nearsightedness and astigmatism also accompany this decease, so patient may have destroyed and blurred vision. According to the Wikipedia article, Keratoconus can be identified by changes in behavior. People suddenly have problems with steps or changes of surface and they don't like go out in the sunshine. That's why we can notice problem with glare and light sensitivity. Keratoconus patients often have prescription changes each time they visit their eye care practitioner. It's not usual to have a delayed diagnosis of keratoconus if the practitioner is not familiar with the...

Bibliography: Angeles Vision Clinic. "What is Keratoconus and What are the Treatment Options?" March 9, 2006
Keratoconus Inserts. "What is Keratoconus" April 18, 2006

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "Keratoconus." April 18, 2006
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