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Rocky Mountain Eye Center -  - Ophthalmology

Rocky Mountain Eye Center

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte & Helena, MT

Keratoconus is an eye condition that changes the shape of your cornea, blurring and distorting your vision. Ophthalmologist Chad Nedrud, MD, specializes in treating corneal diseases, including keratoconus, at Rocky Mountain Eye Center clinic in Missoula, Montana. For expert care of keratoconus, call or book an appointment online today.

Keratoconus Q & A

What is Keratoconus?

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The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped tissue that covers the front of your eye and helps to focus light. When you have keratoconus, the cornea gradually thins and bulges outward into the shape of a cone.

This change in the shape of your cornea may cause blurred vision that doesn’t improve with corrective lenses. Over time, more vision problems may develop, including halos, glare, and difficulty with night vision.

What are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?

Keratoconus signs and symptoms may change as the condition progresses. Symptoms in the early stages include:

  • Mild vision blurring
  • Eye redness or swelling
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare
  • Distorted vision that makes straight lines appear wavy


More advanced symptoms of keratoconus often include:

  • Increased blurring and distorted vision
  • Increased nearsightedness or astigmatism
  • Inability to wear contact lenses because they no longer fit comfortably


Keratoconus may cause you to increase your eyeglass prescription more frequently than you normally would.

Who Gets Keratoconus?

The exact cause of keratoconus remains unknown, but this disease may be genetically inherited. About 1 in 10 people with keratoconus have a parent with the condition. Keratoconus is also more common among people with other genetic conditions, including Down syndrome.

Keratoconus most often begins in teenagers and young adults ages 10-25 and progresses slowly over the course of 10-20 years.

How is Keratoconus Diagnosed and Treated?

To diagnose keratoconus, Dr. Nedrud or another eye specialist at Rocky Mountain Eye Center performs a comprehensive eye exam. They carefully review your family and medical history and may perform tests, such as:

  • Eye refraction, which involves looking through a device that contains different lenses
  • Slit-lamp exam, which involves viewing your eye through a lighted microscope
  • Keratometry, which measures the shape of your cornea with a circle of light
  • Computerized corneal mapping to record images of your cornea for monitoring


Then, Dr. Nedrud recommends the best treatment based on the severity of your condition. Treatment may begin with specialized glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision. Severe cases of keratoconus may require surgery, such as a corneal transplant.