Keratoconus is a disease that involves progressive deformation of the cornea into a “conical” shape.
It consists of a progressive thinning of the central (and paracentral) stroma, followed by corneal exhaustion.
In patients with keratoconus, the cornea is not only conical in shape, but also has such an irregular surface as to cause a much distorted perception of the images. Moreover, this blurred vision can only be partially corrected by optical aid.
Keratoconus, in its most typical forms, begins to show up during puberty and can progress up to about 30 years or more; commonly, it affects both eyes, with an equal incidence in both sexes, but often develops with a difference in time and severity in both eyes.
Keratoconus is a degenerative non-inflammatory disease with a strong genetic component whose symptoms experienced by the patient at the time of onset of the disease are those typical of refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism).
Since keratoconus is a degenerative disease, it should be monitored over time in order to follow its evolution and plan the possible treatment options.
So corneal tests, such as topography, pachymetry and confocal microscopy are essential; these are actually fast and non-invasive diagnostic techniques that allow monitoring it over time, although unfortunately its evolution is not always predictable.
In more severe cases, it becomes necessary to perform corneal transplantation (also called keratoplasty), while in other cases it is possible to perform cross-linking, a cutting-edge technique that allows stabilizing and reinforcing the cornea.