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What Is It?

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye disorder in which the central or paracentral area of the cornea progressively thins. Its usual spherical shape becomes conical, causing irregular astigmatism that distorts images, and a subsequent decrease in vision. Keratoconus is one of the main reasons for corneal transplant surgery in young patients.

What causes it?

Keratoconus is passed from parents to children in approximately 25% of cases. In the remaining cases, it appears sporadically, linked to complex patterns of inheritance that are the subject of ongoing research. There are also cases related to eye allergies or continuous rubbing of the eyes.

How can it be prevented?

There are no preventative measures for keratoconus, but there are treatments available to arrest its development. Early detection is essential to prevent the disorder from advancing and requiring corneal transplant surgery. There are also mild forms that do not cause visual impairment and can only be diagnosed through topographic examination. It is recommended that relatives of keratoconus patients, although not appearing to be affected, undergo a visual examination, as they may be carriers of the disease. Most at risk of keratoconus are children and young people, so it is important to encourage these age groups to have regular eye examinations.

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