Keratoconus causes The absolute cause of keratoconus is unknown; however, factors that may play a role include genetics, eye allergies, and excessive eye rubbing. Avedro’s corneal cross-linking procedure is the first and only therapeutic treatment that stiffens the cornea to slow the progression of the keratoconus. Increased sensitivity to bright light and glare, which can cause problems with night driving, A need for frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions, Having certain conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa, Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hay fever and asthma. Corneal crosslinking. Make a donation. Along with the sclera (the white of your eye), it serves as a barrier against dirt, germs, and other things that can cause damage. Inflammatory mediator studies question if keratoconus is re … We agree with the hypothesis that there is a genetic predisposition that requires a "second hit" or environmental event to elicit progressive disease in keratoconus. This procedure, also called corneal collagen cross-linking or CXL, strengthens … The cone shape reflects light incorrectly as it comes into the retina which causes … Mayo Clinic. 2018;38:2257. These factors can increase your chances of developing keratoconus: In some situations, your cornea may swell quickly and cause sudden reduced vision and scarring of the cornea. Light rays enter the eye through the cornea, travel into the lens, and stimulate the retina at the back of the eye. Some doctors believe that genetics and family history may play a role in the development of a bulging cornea. No one knows what causes keratoconus, although genetic and environmental factors are thought to be involved. What Is Keratoconus? Wayman LL. Here, we review the body of literature that attempts to determine what causes keratoconus.. Methods: A review of the published literature was performed to evaluate the possible causes of keratoconus and how the different etiologies may play a role in the development of this disease. Avoid continuous or vigorous rubbing of the eyes, which may also be a trigger for the condition. The condition may progress slowly for 10 years or longer.In th… Keratoconus causes may include heredity, eye injury, certain eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and other systemic diseases. Mukhtar S, et al. Conical cornea is another name for the condition. Keratoconus is caused by a decrease in protective antioxidants in the cornea. Keratoconus is an eye disorder that affects the cornea—or outer clear covering of the eye. As keratoconus worsens, people with this condition can develop corneal scarring, often caused by exposure of the abnormally thin cornea to prolonged contact lens use or excessive eye rubbing. The cornea is the clear outer layer of the eye that protects the eye and allows you to focus and see clearly. In keratoconus, the cornea becomes very thin and bulges outward forming a cone shape. The vision symptoms slowly get worse over a period of about 10 to 20 years. Eye rubbing may serve as the "second hit" in some predisposed individuals. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Mas Tur V, et al. Keratoconus is a condition that affects the cornea — the clear, dome-shaped portion at the front of the eye. Several sources suggest that keratoconus likely arises from a number of different factors: genetic, environmental or cellular, any of which may form the trigger for the onset of the disease. Can keratoconus cause blindness? They include: See your eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) if your eyesight is worsening rapidly, which might be caused by an irregular curvature of the eye (astigmatism). In this test your eye doctor uses special equipment that measures your eyes to check for vision problems. The cornea cells produce damaging by-products, like exhaust from a car. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. The cause of keratoconus is not completely understood, but it appears that there may be a genetic component. Signs and symptoms of keratoconus may change as the disease progresses. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter, New Year Special -  40% off – Mayo Clinic Diet Online. Accessed Jan. 7, 2019. This condition causes the normal aspheric shape of the cornea to be distorted and develop into a cone-like bulge. Keratoconus usually takes years to go from early- to late-stage. Keratoconus causes may include heredity, eye injury, certain eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and other systemic diseases. Your cornea consists of tiny fibers of the protein known as collagen. Oftentimes, people with early keratoconus first develop astigmatism. AskMayoExpert. June 16, 2020. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. This causes images to appear distorted in addition to appearing blurry. Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory, bilateral (but usually asymmetrical) disease of the cornea which results in progressive corneal steepening. Accessed Jan. 7, 2019. Why wasn’t keratoconus easily diagnosed in earlier decades? A normal cornea has a dome shape and it held together by tiny fibers of protein called collagen. Keratoconus causes deterioration in vision through the disfiguration of the cornea. However, these patients tend to come back into their optometrist’s office a little more frequently, complaining that their vision seems to have changed. This procedure, also called corneal collagen cross-linking or CXL, strengthens … It is believed that genetics, the environment and the endocrine system all play a role in keratoconus. But most often, there is no eye injury or disease that could explain why the eye starts to change. Yanoff M, et al., eds. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. However, no one theory explains itall and it may be caused by a combination of things. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. The condition may progress slowly for 10 years or longer. It usually begins in the teen years, and the shape changes in the cornea … A cone-shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may cause sensitivity to light and glare. Doctors do not know for sure why people have keratoconus. Advanced keratoconus also may cause your cornea to become scarred, particularly where the cone is most prominent. People with Keratoconus May Be at Increased Risk for Sleep Apnea, International Society of Refractive Surgery, Top Five Steps To Help Prevent Diabetic Eye Diseases. When the cornea has scar tissue, it loses its smoothness and becomes less clear. Visual loss occurs primarily from myopia and irregular astigmatism and secondarily from corneal scarring. It is characterised by para-central corneal thinning and ectasia so that the cornea takes the shape of a cone.