Keratoconus in Asians Eyes

From: Keratoconus Freedom Group
Published: Mon Jan 25 2010

Keratoconus, pronounced - kehr-uh-toh-KOH-nus – the word derived from the Greek terms kerato, meaning horn, cornea, and konos meaning cone - is a degenerative, non-inflammatory disorder of the cornea. It is characterized by central thinning of the cornea that causes it to protrude into a conical shape. This conical distortion of the cornea causes irregular astigmatism and dramatically reduces the quality of the patient’s vision. It often presents it self at puberty, adolescence and young adults and attacks both eyes, although one eye may be affected earlier than the other. Its progress is variable and difficult to predict.

The treatment options for Keratoconus have vastly improved in the last decade, and In January 2007 CE approved treatment for the underlying weakness caused by this eye condition. With early screening and detection, patients can avail themselves of a proven procedure, cornea collagen crosslinking, that has been shown to halt the progression of the disease and restore the strength and to return the shape of the cornea back to a normal curvature and subsequently improving vision in keratoconus if caught early enough. Other treatments can be combined with crosslinking to bring about an even more significant improvement in vision for more advanced cases.

Recent evidence suggests that with early detection via corneal mapping devices and by measuring corneal thickness, keratoconus is found to be a common disorder of the screened patients. Incidence has been found to be four times higher in people of an Asian heritage than in the general population (Pearson AR, Soneji B, Sarvananthan N, Sandford-Smith JH. Does ethnic origin influence the incidence or severity of keratoconus? | Eye. 2000 Aug;14.) Also in another a study (Georgiou T, Eye 2004; 18: 379-383) an even higher figure of 9 times more Keratoconus was found in people of an Asian heritage compared with whites. Therefore, patients and parents should have a six month or annual corneal topography taken by a trained certified approved specialist, to take computer-video map of their cornea to monitor for changes and it should be part of their routine eye exam of teen and young adult patients. Families also need to be aware of the early warning signs, as Keratoconus can strike preteens as well. The indications that a child/teen or an adult might be developing Keratoconus include:

• Frequent changes of corrective lens strength, especially when worsening astigmatism is noted from exam to exam.

• If the patient complains of visual halos or flares around light sources, ghosted images, or blurred vision, especially if it is more pronounced in one eye (Keratoconus usually starts in one eye first and as people usually see with both eyes open the patient will not be aware of any disturbance in vision in one eye)

• Complaints of eye strain and increased light sensitivity

For more information on Keratoconus diagnosis and treatment options, as well as self-help for living with Keratoconus - patients and their families are urged to visit: or

● For regional patient assistance in the sub-continent: Call The GE Institute (the first center to treat KC in the region) on Tel: +91-172-5056969 or email

● For regional patient assistance in the UK: Call The BVK Clinic (the first center to treat KC in the UK) on Tel: +44 (0)2075809110 or email
Company: Keratoconus Freedom Group
Contact Name: Sarah Taylor
Contact Phone: +(1) 832-2188750

Visit website »