Keratoconus is a degenerative disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than its normal gradual curve.
Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light. It is typically diagnosed in the patient's adolescent years and attains its most severe state in the twenties and thirties. If afflicting both eyes, the deterioration in vision can affect the patient's ability to drive a car or to read normal print. In most cases, corrective lenses, usually contact lenses, are effective enough to allow the patient to continue to drive legally and to function normally. Further progression of the disease may require surgery including intrastromal corneal ring segments or corneal transplantation. Despite the disease's unpredictable course, keratoconus can often be successfully managed with little or no impairment to the patient's quality of life.
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