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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Keratoconus


Other Names for this Disease
  • Noninflammatory corneal thining
  • KC
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Keratoconus is the degeneration of the structure of the cornea, which is the clear tissue covering the front of the eye. In this condition, the shape of the cornea slowly changes from the normal round shape to a cone shape. Most people who develop keratoconus start out nearsighted, which tends to become worse over time. The earliest symptom is a slight blurring of vision that cannot be corrected with glasses. Over time, there may be eye halos, glare, or other night vision problems.The cause is unknown, but the tendency to develop keratoconus is probably present from birth. Keratoconus is thought to involve a defect in collagen, the tissue that makes up most of the cornea. Some researchers believe that allergy and eye rubbing may play a role.[1] Treatment for keratoconus depends on the severity of your condition and how quickly the condition is progressing. Mild to moderate keratoconus can be treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. In some people the cornea becomes scarred or wearing contact lenses becomes difficult. In these cases, surgery might be necessary.[2]
Last updated: 3/23/2016

References

  1. Vorvick LJ & Lusby FW. Keratoconus. MedlinePlus. 2014; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001013.htm.
  2. Keratoconus Treatment. Mayo Clinic. January 30, 2016; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/keratoconus/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20180387.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Eye Institute (NEI) was established by Congress in 1968 to protect and prolong the vision of the American people. Click on the link to view information on this topic. 
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Keratoconus. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Noninflammatory corneal thining
  • KC
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.