What is Keratoconus?

Published on
June 29, 2021

Keratoconus is a progressive disorder in the cornea of the eye. The cornea is the transparent layer that covers the front of the eye and contributes greatly to how well we see. In keratoconus, the cornea becomes thinner and protrudes into a more cone shaped structure which causes a lot of visual disturbances. It usually affects both eyes, but often one eye starts progressing earlier or has a more serious condition than the other. It most commonly affects people aged 10 to 25 and it progresses over around a decade.


The typical symptoms and signs of keratoconus include:

  • Blurry distorted vision
  • Sudden decrease in vision
  • Constant need to change prescription in glasses
  • Light sensitivity and glare

Treatment Options

At the very early stages of keratoconus, glasses or soft contact lenses can be an appropriate optical correction but as the condition progresses, these options do not usually provide sufficient correction for people with keratoconus. Patients with keratoconus used to be given hard contact lenses which turned out to be extremely uncomfortable for the shape of their cornea.

Scleral Lenses

Nowadays we have a wonderful optical correction using scleral lenses, which is unique because as opposed to sitting on the cornea, as most lenses do, it sits on the sclera, which is the white part of the eye. This makes this type of lens very comfortable and it prevents the eyelashes from causing discomfort every time the patient blinks.

Surgical Options

There are surgical methods, including cross linking which stabilizes the fibers in the cornea and can be combined with other refractive methods.

When to See the Eye Doctor

If you have any questions or concerns about keratoconus, please schedule an appointment at our office. Our professional staff has extensive experience diagnosing and treating keratoconus.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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