What is keratoconus?

This eye condition can cause serious vision problems.

April 7, 2020


Keratoconus is an eye condition that affects the cornea, the clear tissue covering the front of the eye. The cornea allows light to enter the eye. It also helps the eyes focus so you can see clearly.

In keratoconus, the cornea gets thin and weakens. This creates a cone-shaped bulge that causes vision problems, making even simple things like driving a car or reading difficult. It can also lead to vision loss.


Keratoconus usually first appears when people are in their late teens or early twenties. It may progress for 10 to 20 years, then slow or stop. It can also affect each eye differently.

In the early stages of keratoconus, you may experience:

  • Slight blurring of vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light


Treatments for keratoconus help correct the thinning and bulging of the cornea. Options include:

  • Eyeglasses or soft contact lenses
  • Hard contact lenses
  • Intacs inserts (implants to correct nearsightedness and keratoconus)
  • Corneal cross-linking (a procedure to strengthen the cornea)
  • Corneal transplant surgery

Find a specialist

Treating keratoconus can require special expertise and training. A cornea specialist can help determine the best treatment for you.

Thomas Gillette, MD, has been a leader in cross-linking since it was approved by the FDA in 2016. He’s the first Polyclinic provider to offer it and has done more than 100 procedures. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gillette, call 1-206-860-5587.

Information in this article is provided by Avedro. For more detailed content, visit livingwithkeratoconus.com.

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The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.