Symptoms of Keratoconus – an in-depth understanding!

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that affects the structure of the cornea, leading to visual impairment if left untreated. At Eyes and Faces, we specialise in providing detailed insights into this condition, empowering individuals with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their eye health.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is characterised by the thinning and bulging of the cornea, resulting in a cone-like shape. This irregularity alters the refractive power of the cornea, causing distorted vision, sensitivity to light, and difficulty in night vision. While the exact cause remains unknown, factors such as genetics, environmental influences, and eye rubbing are believed to contribute to its development.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

Identifying the symptoms of keratoconus is crucial for early intervention and management. Common signs include:

  • Blurred or Distorted Vision: Individuals with keratoconus often experience blurry or distorted vision, which can make it challenging to perform daily tasks such as reading or driving. The irregular shape of the cornea causes light to scatter unevenly, resulting in unclear vision.
  • Increased Sensitivity to Light (Photophobia): Sensitivity to light, known as photophobia, is a common symptom of keratoconus. Bright lights, such as sunlight or glare from artificial sources, can cause discomfort or pain in the eyes, leading to squinting or avoidance of well-lit environments.
  • Frequent Changes in Prescription Eyewear: As keratoconus progresses, individuals may notice frequent changes in their prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. This is because the irregular shape of the cornea alters the way light enters the eye, necessitating adjustments to correct vision.
  • Difficulty Driving, Especially at Night: The visual disturbances caused by keratoconus can make driving challenging, particularly at night when visibility is reduced. Halos, glare, and poor contrast sensitivity can affect the ability to judge distances and react to hazards on the road.
Driving at night with Keratoconus - Dr Anthony Maloof
Driving at night with Keratoconus
  • Eye Irritation or Excessive Rubbing: Irritation and discomfort in the eyes are common symptoms of keratoconus, often accompanied by a persistent urge to rub the eyes. However, rubbing the eyes can exacerbate corneal thinning and worsen symptoms. This leads to further discomfort and potential damage to the cornea.
  • Ghosting or Multiple Images (Monocular Diplopia): Another symptom of keratoconus is the perception of ghosting or seeing multiple images of the same object, especially with one eye (monocular diplopia). This phenomenon occurs due to the irregular refraction of light by the distorted cornea, resulting in overlapping images.
  • Decreased Night Vision: Individuals with keratoconus may experience difficulty seeing clearly in low-light conditions, such as at dusk or in dimly lit rooms. Reduced night vision can contribute to challenges with activities that require good vision in low-light environments, such as driving or navigating unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Eye Strain and Fatigue: Straining to see clearly despite corrective measures, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, can lead to eye strain and fatigue. Prolonged periods of visual effort can exacerbate symptoms and affect overall comfort and visual performance.

Seek help early

By recognising these diverse symptoms associated with keratoconus, individuals can seek timely evaluation and intervention to address their visual needs and improve their quality of life.

Keratoconus is a complex eye condition that requires prompt diagnosis and appropriate management to preserve vision and enhance quality of life. By understanding its symptoms, individuals can take proactive steps towards maintaining optimal eye health. Dr Anthony Maloof and the team at Eyes and Faces are dedicated to providing comprehensive care and support for individuals affected by keratoconus, ensuring they receive the best possible treatment outcomes.

More information available at

Need to book an appointment? Click here