Keratoconus, is an eye condition in which the normally round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop. This results in significant visual impairment.
Keratoconus is estimated to occur in 1 out of every 2000 persons in the general population. There appears to be no significant preponderance with regards to either men or women.
In the early stages of the condition, spectacles are usually successful in correcting the myopia and astigmatism associated with the keratoconus. As the condition advances, the cornea becomes highly irregular and vision is no longer adequately corrected with spectacles. Rigid contact lenses are then required to provide optimal visual acuity. Soft contact lenses are usually not an option, as they cannot correct for the irregular astigmatism associated with the keratoconus. In about 15% of cases, the keratoconus progresses to the stage where corneal transplantation is required.