Keratoconus: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Keratoconus is an eye condition involving the shape of the cornea of your eye. A normal eye has a round shaped cornea. If you have keratoconus, the shape of your cornea bulges out like a cone, distorting your vision. Your Lock Family Eye Care optometrist can diagnose Keratoconus in West Des Moines, IA | Brand during an eye exam.  

Causes of Keratoconus

Your eye is composed of tiny protein fibers called collagen. Collagen helps to hold the round shape of the cornea of your eye. Normally, the cornea is well protected by antioxidants, keeping the collagen strong. Reduced levels of antioxidants will weaken the collagen, making these fibers ineffective in holding the cornea’s shape. As a result, the cornea begins to bulge out causing the condition keratoconus.

Keratoconus tends to run in the family, making it imperative that you have your children’s eyes checked periodically for symptoms of this condition. The condition can start in childhood although it’s most commonly noticed in the early teen years. If you or your child has allergies, keratoconus may develop and progress more quickly.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

If you have keratoconus in West Des Moines, IA | Brand, you may experience such symptoms as blurred vision, wavy vision, double vision, nearsightedness, the appearance of halos or streaking lights and sensitivity to glare. The condition may develop quickly or gradually over a period of years. Changes in your cornea can stop suddenly or continue for years. Most people have the condition in both eyes, although one eye may be more affected than the other.

Keratoconus Treatment  

As the cornea of your eye changes shape, you’ll have difficulty focusing. You’ll most likely need prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct your vision. For mild cases of keratoconus, prescription glasses may suffice. If your condition is more severe, however, we may recommend rigid gas-permeable contact lenses to improve your sight. If neither one of these options works for you, you may need a corneal transplant to restore your vision. Laser surgery is not an option for this condition as it can weaken the cornea, even more, further impairing your vision.

Although glasses and/or contact lenses will help improve your vision, they won’t stop the progression of this condition. With proper management, however, you can keep keratoconus from getting worse. Rubbing your eyes can greatly irritate this condition, so take care not to rub your eyes, even if they itch. By scheduling regular eye checkups at Lock Family Eye Care, we can monitor your condition and recommend changes in your treatment as needed.

Schedule an Eye Checkup, Contact Lock Family Eyecare in Des Moines!

To talk to an eye specialist about keratoconus or to schedule an eye exam, contact Lock Family Eye Care in West Des Moines/Brand at 515-267-1312.

Welcome to Lock Family Eye Care

Your Optometrist in West Des Moines, IA.

Office Hours

9:201 Jordan Creek Pkwy # 12190 West Des Moines, IA 50266 *M-F, we take the last appointment at 5:20pm


9:20 am-6:30 pm


9:20 am-6:30 pm


9:20 am-6:30 pm


9:20 am-6:30 pm


9:20 am-6:30 pm


9:20 am-4:00 pm


11:30 am-4:00 pm


Find us on the map