Keratoconus is an ocular disorder characterized by progressive thinning and subsequent bulging of the cornea. Keratoconus is classified as a rare disease, occurring in 1 of 2000 people. Keratoconus usually presents during adolescence with progression into early adulthood.

What Causes Keratoconus?

The etiology of keratoconus is not well understood but is thought to stem from the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. 

Risk factors include:

  • Genetics and family history.
  • Ethnicity- more common in African Americans and Latinos.
  • Contact lens use.
  • Repeated eye rubbing.
  • History of seasonal allergies, asthma, or eczema.
  • Diagnosis of disorders including Down Syndrome, sleep apnea, Leber congenital amaurosis, connective tissue diseases, Marfan syndrome, and brittle cornea syndrome.

Symptoms of Keratoconus:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Trouble seeing in low light settings.
  • Diplopia.
  • Decrease in visual acuity.
  • Development of myopia.

Source: NORD – National Organization for Rare Disorders. (2019, August 28). Keratoconus. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from