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February 1, 2018

Understanding Keratoconus (KC)

This month’s blog is all about Keratoconus (KC)—a condition where the cornea progressively thins out and bulges forward creating the corneal shape to be irregular or cone-like. Think of the cornea as the very front window to your eye. In a normal cornea, light rays pass through the cornea and other anterior structures of the eye and bend the light to the retina, creating clear vision. However, due to the corneal shape being irregular in keratoconus, the light gets defocused creating visual blur and distortion.

Keratoconus can start in early adolescence and progresses into adulthood. It affects both women and men equally. Although the cause of keratoconus is unknown, it can be hereditary. About 1 in 10 people with the condition have a parent who also has keratoconus. It, also, has been linked to chronic eye rubbing and Down Syndrome (DS).


KC typically affects both eyes and can be asymmetric, meaning one eye can be worse than the other. In the early stages, symptoms can include mild blurring of vision or slightly distorted vision (where straight lines look bent or wavy), increased sensitivity to light and glare, and redness or swelling. In the later stages, symptoms can include more blurry and distorted vision, increased nearsightedness or astigmatism (which can cause frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions), and not being able to wear soft contact lenses since the eye shape has changed and the lenses are no longer able to fit properly. Usually, keratoconus symptoms take years to progress from early to late stage. However, for some people, the condition can worsen quickly, causing the cornea to scar and vision to become more distorted and blurry.

Treatment Options

Keratoconus can be detected through routine comprehensive eye exams. At Eyedeology, we have the most advanced corneal topography (Medmont) to help map out the corneal shape and diagnose any cornea irregularities. The irregular distortion of the cornea makes vision correction with glasses less than optimal. For this reason, other means of correcting vision are often necessary. Usually, specialty hard contact lenses or hybrid lenses are needed to correct the vision. These lenses are more stable on the irregular cornea than traditional soft contact lenses, giving you a better stable vision. Depending on the progression of KC, other treatment modalities are needed like Intacs, Collagen Cross-linking or even a corneal transplant. Our highly trained optometrists will guide you through the treatment process. We, also, work closely with the best corneal specialists in Calgary to help manage Keratoconus. For more information book an appointment to see us 587-353-5061 or

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