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Keratoconus usually occurs in both eyes and is characterized by symptoms such as blurred vision (even when wearing glasses or contact lenses), glare at night, light sensitivity, frequent prescription changes or eye rubbing. Generally, this disease is diagnosed by the time patients reach their 20's. Because keratoconus is not usually visible to the naked eye, special testing is used for a detailed look at the shape of the cornea.
The first line of treatment for patients with keratoconus is to fit rigid gas permeable contact lenses. Because this type of contact is not flexible, it creates a smooth, evenly shaped surface to see through. However, because of the cornea's irregular shape, specialty contact lenses are often required. If vision deteriorates to the point that contact lenses no longer provide adequate vision, a corneal transplant may be necessary to replace the diseased cornea with a healthy one.