Disclaimer: I have keratoconus as well as being gluten and dairy intolerant, but I am not a medical doctor, so please visit your eye care and other medical professionals if you have any concerns about this or other medical topics. I
t took me a long time to figure out what was really going on. Probably the better part of a decade. I am writing this article because one of you out there in internet land could be living with this condition and not know it.
First of all, it is a progressive degenerative eye disorder that causes the cornea of to become irregularly surfaced. Usually, the center of the eye will be raised (like a cone) and the outer areas may be fatter and thinner. There may be an iron ring your ophtamologist can identify as well.
For me, one eye progressed much faster than the other, but overall my vision began degrading quickly, even as my denile about the state and quality of my vision increased. I likely could have been diagnosed in my early twenties with careful medical care and if I had acted assertively as a patient.
SOME THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The Halo: to lights have a halo around them, or do they appear blurred. Do you have trouble seeing at night, or to you have trouble with more glare than in the past?
First signs: for me, the first major indicator that something was seriously wrong was how difficult it was for me to see people's faces clearly. I know it sounds odd, but I started to recognize people later and later as they walked towards me in the halls of my law school at the University of Saskatchewan.
I could still see the board from be back of the lecture hall, and even rad fine print from a text book when I knew something was very wrong. Now 7 years later, glasses do not work adequately for me (only to just get by at work if I really squint and fight).
With eye care, as with health in general, you have to take time to examine if there is stubbornness or denial creeping in and preventing you from fighting it and achieving your optimal wellness.
THE GOOD NEWS
Keratoconus is a very popular area of research, and even since I was diagnosed there have been major breakthroughs. I currently am using rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP lenses). In my follow-up article to this one, I will discuss the various treatments for keratoconus as well as my experiences with rigid contacts (A.K.A.: The agony of vision ;).
I would recommend visiting your optometrist at least every six months to have your eyes rechecked. With this condition, your vision can change or worsen fairly quickly, requiring an adjustment to your glasses or rigid contact lenses.
Eventually, many patients may look at CCT (collagen crosslinking therapy) to stabilize the eyes. Finally, some people may eventually need a cornea transplant as this condition is a progressive degenerative one.