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Keratoconus experience

What does the keratoconus patient experience?

Keratoconus is not noticeable at all at the beginning of the eye disease. Keratoconus develops gradually from puberty. The diagnosis is often only made when the keratoconus has already fully developed. This is because keratoconus starts in one eye, but hardly affects the visual performance of both eyes. In fact, this is not even noticed. Experience shows that keratoconus is only noticed late, while the vision of the worst eye has already decreased considerably.

Symptoms of Keratoconus?

The experience of people with keratoconus is that they may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Shadowing on the underside of letters with one and sometimes both eyes
  • More burden from the sun and therefore a stronger need for sunglasses
  • Difficult to measure eyes with difference in vision in both eyes
  • Itchy eyes and tendency to rub the eyes often and hard
  • Halos and starburst of car lights
  • Much more difficult to see in the (twilight) dark than during the day

Another experience with keratoconus is that people suffer from, for example, photophobia, or excessive light sensitivity. This is especially apparent when looking at car lights in the dark. The experience of people with photophobia with keratoconus is they see a circle (halo) around the light source or see a star-shaped image themselves, or ‘starburst’. The phenomenon whereby light is scattered is also called ‘glare’.

late noticed

Because in keratoconus the cone is curved more strongly than the rest of the cornea, the strength increases locally. The cone then creates a high negative strength, while the strength hardly changes in the rest of the cornea. The experience of someone with keratoconus is that he or she sees shadows on the underside of letters and objects. Those shadows are much more visible when viewed with one eye. First of all, these shadows have an adverse effect on the contrast sensitivity of the view. And in a more advanced stage, the sight (vision) can also decrease. Since it starts in one eye and gradually affects visual performance, the experience is that keratoconus is not noticed until late.

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