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Prevalence of keratoconus & likelihood of detection

Ever wonder how common is keratoconus? Do people simply develop keratoconus overtime? Is it genetic?

Keratoconus has been a very complex and elusive eye disease that continues to baffle the world of eye health. Although recent advanced surgical procedures and specialty contact lenses can help keratoconus patients achieve relatively normal vision, the costs are generally high. Plus, post surgery can leave a patient out of work for weeks or longer placing strain on the rest of the family.

Estimates suggest that 1 out of 2000 people suffer from keratoconus, although some optometrists who work with keratoconus patients speculate the ratio to be higher. Since the disease is somewhat rare, there aren’t many indications that pinpoint which person is more likely to develop keratoconus.

Keratoconus is most commonly diagnosed with:

  • African Americans
  • Males
  • Heredity

Keratoconus means that the cornea has developed an irregular shape, often leading to light sensitivity, blurry vision, and the inability to wear soft contact lenses.

However, most optometrists during an eye exam don’t necessarily perform digital imaging of the cornea to assess the health of the eye’s surface. Often, digital imaging checks inside the eye to review blood vessels, the retina, or macula to ensure the critical aspects of the eyes structure is healthy. Therefore, patients with only mild signs of keratoconus can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years.

In order to ensure the best care and earliest detection for keratoconus or any corneal irregularity, schedule your next eye exam with our keratoconus specialist in Owings Mills, Maryland today.

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