That’s the name of the condition I have in my eyes. If you don’t want to read all about it here, and I don’t blame you, just know that the word means cone-shaped cornea. You can see the world as I see it at this website. It also means that even with contact lenses, the remedy of choice, and glasses, my vision often leaves a lot to be desired. I usually see multiple edges on things, sometimes multiple things, particularly high contrast things; the contact lenses often bother me since I usually keep them in for too many hours; and sometimes using the computer gets difficult. I often keep the TV on so I look away from the computer occasionally and focus at a longer distance. In spite of all this I am grateful I can see relatively well, most of the time. I can drive, I tolerate the contacts well and I don’t have too many problems.
Keratoconus tends to be progressive and often leads to corneal transplants. When I was first diagnosed, more than 25 years ago, I did not know how bad it would get. My mother also had this condition and had transplants in both eyes, not with great success. She came close to being blind. Fortunately my condition is fairly stable and I doubt I will ever need transplants. More than any other sense I take pleasure in what I see. I travel to see beauty, to see art. The thought of losing my sight was horrifying. Before my condition stabilized and I was finally comfortable with lenses I spent many days and hours worrying.
This morning I went to an information meeting for keratoconus patients.They showed little videos of transplant surgery. They talked about some of the most common problems and some of the possible treatments being studied. I found it interesting and a little scary. But, more than anything I realized how important it was to be informed and to be “smart” about your own body. Medicine today presents us with so many options and requires that we make our own decisions.For the moment, I am grateful everything remains the same.