What Is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea (the clear, protective outer layer of the eye) thins and bulges, ultimately becoming cone-shaped. This irregular shape causes blurry vision, light sensitivity and other vision problems. Sometimes called "KC," keratoconus often begins in puberty and slowly progresses until the patient reaches the 20s or 30s.

There are various types of keratoconus, including:

  • Nipple
  • Oval
  • Keratoglobus
  • D-shaped keratoconus

Research has shown that there is a genetic component to keratoconus; if you have the condition, there's a greater chance your siblings and children will have it too. There also appears to be a relationship between keratoconus and certain disorders, such as:

  • Down syndrome
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Leber congenital amaurosis
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Retinopathy of prematurity
  • Vernal keratoconjunctivitis