What Is Keratoconus? TLC Charlottesville, Virginia By Kristina Oneill on April 15, 2014

What Is Keratoconus?

My doctor says that I have keratoconus and that LASIK and PRK are not a good option for me because of the keratoconus.  What us Keratoconus and what can I do to correct my vision?    

Unfortunately, we do not know the exact cause of keratoconus. There are a lot of theories that are based on research and its association with other medical conditions but no one theory explains keratoconus.  Keratoconus is thought to be caused by a combination of things such as genetics, the environment and your endocrine system.  Research suggest that all play a role in keratoconus.  

Dr. Holzman’s answer is that Keratoconus is a degenerative genetic condition that affects your cornea (the dome-shaped frontal surface of the eye). The cornea consists primarily of collagen which is a natural protein that is present in the skin and connective tissues. Keratoconus occurs when the collagen in the cornea starts to break down, causing it to become thinner. As a result, the cornea begins to bulge outward, taking on a conical shape that causes vision to become blurry and the eyes to become increasingly sensitive to light. This condition usually begins in a patient's late teens, and almost always occurs in both eyes.  

In some cases, keratoconus may begin as astigmatism. Many patients are not even aware that they have keratoconus. If your vision has become less reliable, or if you have been diagnosed with keratoconus and your current treatment is not providing you with adequate results you should look into other treatment options for keratoconus such as corneal cross-linking.  

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Dr. Andrew Holzman

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, is one of the most well-respected ophthalmologists in the greater Washington, DC, area. He is regularly sought out by professional athletes, media personalities, and other doctors for laser eye surgery. Dr. Holzman is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Medical Association
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

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