With the exact cause of keratoconus still elusive, this condition commonly affects 1 in 2000 people. However researchers have yet to pinpoint a specific reason as to why the central area of the cornea in some people’s eyes begins to weaken. This consequently causes bulging and distorted vision, one of the leading causes of blindness in the UK.
Here are three of the most common causes which can be easy to overlook for gaining keratoconus.
1. Rubbing your Eyes
Direct minor trauma through rubbing your eyes is not only a common factor in keratoconus patients, but also links to allergies such as hay fever, eczema and asthma sufferers, plus those with with food intolerances. Many of these can cause intense itching, irritation and stress, that in turn trigger intense and potentially damaging eye rubbing. Eye rubbing is one of the strongest correlations to keratoconus date despite a need for further research. To read more on this topic, see here.
2. Its in the Hormones
Keratoconus very often occurs during puberty or in pregnant women, suggesting that hormones are almost certainly at play here. It is common to develop during teenage years, whilst the condition tends to progress and stabilise many years later – sometimes reaching a point where external aids such as contact lenses or glasses can no longer help and further treatment might need to be considered.
3. Your type of Contact Lens
Sometimes when harder forms of contact lens are inserted they can rub and weaken the collagen links to corneal tissue. If these are too rigid, they could cause irritation or set the basis for weaker structure if there is not enough tear lubrication to support them comfortably. Bear this in mind when choosing your contact lenses and remember to discuss any potential long term effects of usage during your consultation.
For more information about treatments for keratoconus, check our eye condition treatments page.