Keratoconus: What Is It & How Does It Impact Vision?

Keratoconus is an uncommon eye disease where the front of your eye, known as the cornea, begins to thin and lose it’s normally round shape.

Upon doing so, it starts to bulge out and can cause you to have blurry, distorted vision that may not be perfectly corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Related: “Contact Lenses for Keratoconus: What Are Your Options?”

A curvature map (topographer) of a normal cornea vs a cornea with keratoconus


Looking at the image above, the area circled in red is representative of this disease. Compared to the normal image of the cornea on the right, the image on the left has what is known as abnormal corneal budging or steepening.

Also, this disease typically develops in early adulthood and has an unpredictable rate of progression. Unfortunately, the exact cause is still unknown.

Stages of keratoconus


Mild (to moderate) stages of keratoconus are typically correctable with glasses or contact lenses. However, more severe stages often require surgery. 

Unfortunately, this disease can occur in one or both of your eyes and requires careful diagnosis by an eye care professional. If you think you have keratoconus, make sure to schedule an appointment with your local eye care professional today!

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Dr. Danny Mack earned his Doctor of Optometry degree at The Ohio State University College of Optometry in Columbus, Ohio. During his training, he gained valuable experience in a variety of clinical settings throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Utah before settling in Hawaii. He currently serves as the Chief of Optometry at Hawaiian Eye Center on the island of Oahu. Dr. Mack regularly manages ocular diseases, provides consultations for eye surgeries, and performs comprehensive eye examinations. He enjoys fitting contact lenses for patients of all ages as well. Dr. Mack won several awards for leadership and service at The Ohio State University College of Optometry and he has a passion for providing quality eye care to individuals in remote locations. He has volunteered his services on eye care outreaches to rural Hawaii, Honduras, and Fiji.