Keratoconus & Other Ectasia

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a progressive, degenerative condition in which the front of the eye (the cornea), protrudes in a cone shape causing thinning of the corneal tissue. This results in reduced and distorted vision. The condition is present from birth, but does not affect vision until the teenage years.

Keratoconus affects approximately 1 person in every 1000. The exact cause is uncertain, but a genetic link seems likely, as the incidence rate is greater if a family member has been diagnosed. Often people with keratoconus suffer from seasonal allergies and asthma, and associated rubbing of the eye can make the condition worse.

While many patients only present to a specialist when their vision begins to fail (no longer adequately corrected in glasses or contact lenses), it is important to start monitoring patients with keratoconus in the early stages of the condition. To find out more about diagnosis and treatment of Keratoconus, read our Keratoconus Care Clinic information page.

Please note: All new referrals for Keratoconus are required to have an initial consultation with Dr Andrew Apel. Once the condition is confirmed, and nature established, ongoing appointments to monitor the condition can be made through the Keratoconus Care Clinic.

Terrien’s Marginal Degeneration

Terrien’s Marginal Degeneration is a progressive and degenerative thinning of the cornea, usually in the superior (upper) margin of the cornea. It is more commonly seen in males over the age of 40. As the condition progresses, the corneal thinning can extend the entire circumference of the cornea. It can be inflammatory in nature, with neovascularisation (blood vessel growth), lipid deposits and corneal scarring commonly seen.

Pellucid Marginal Degeneration

Pellucid Marginal Degeneration is a progressive, degenerative, noninflammatory corneal condition. It is commonly confused with Keratoconus as it also results in thinning of the cornea, however the area of thinning is typically localised to the inferior (lower) and peripheral cornea. Like Keratoconus, patient’s often present with irregular astigmatism, and vision that can no longer be adequately corrected in glasses or contact lenses.