Symptoms of keratoconus generally begin in later teenage years. Some practitioners believe that the symptoms of keratoconus begin once growth stops, between 16 and 21 years of age. The first symptoms of keratoconus could be itching or allergies. This itching causes patients to rub their eyes more frequently and more forcefully. Studies show that patients who rub their eyes are more likely to develop keratoconus. During this same period of time, patients with keratoconus will discover that they need to change their glasses more frequently. Astigmatism and myopia might increase dramatically.
In addition to discomfort and changes in prescription, other symptoms of keratoconus might manifest themselves early in the progression of the disease. Patients might discover a decrease in visual acuity. Uncorrected astigmatism can make vision blurry at all distances so there is not a good clear point of vision. Another symptom of keratoconus is ï¿½squintingï¿½. As patients squint they can put pressure on the curvature of the eye and correct the astigmatism as well as decrease the size of the aperture. Both of these effects result in improved vision. Some patients with keratoconus walk around in a perpetual squint.
Photophobia as well as glare and haloes are also typical symptoms of keratoconus. An unhealthy cornea will typically react to discomfort when affected by light. Patients with keratoconus will often describe this photophobia as an increasing discomfort in sunlight or other bright light. Glare and haloes are particularly bothersome while driving at night. With irregularity in the cornea, typical symptoms of keratoconus also include ghosting, double vision (which persists even when one eye is covered (monocular diplopia), as well as obvious visual distortion that may cause multiple images.
While these symptoms of keratoconus are used in the diagnosis of keratoconus, these symptoms could also indicate other vision problems. Keratoconus requires a diagnosis from a competent eye doctor who is trained in not only recognizing the symptoms but also observing signs of keratoconus through direct measurement as well as inspection of the cornea at a microscopic level. Simply recognizing symptoms does not by itself diagnose keratoconus.
If you believe that you manifest some of these signs of keratoconus, it is important that you meet with a health care professional and undergo a complete eye examination. Dr. Stephen Turner is a certified Ophthalmologist and has had specific training in the cornea through recognized residencies and internships at some of the top medical institutions in the world. Turner Eye Institute would be happy to investigate your concerns and discover the best method for treating your problems. Dr. Turner can help investigate your symptoms of keratoconus and make an accurate diagnosis of your eye problems.