It is a corneal disease and is genetically transmissible.
Due to an inherent weakness of its structure, the cornea tends to generate an irregular astigmatism that in more advanced cases is not correctable with glasses or with contact lenses.
While a few years ago this could only be treated with transplant, it is now possible to stop the progression of the disease by treating keratoconus in its early stages.
The most effective treatment is to stabilize the corneal cross linking. This consists involves strengthening of the corneal structure obtained with a vitamin, riboflavin and activated by UVA radiation.
Basically, drops of riboflavin eye drops are given for 30 minutes under the exposure of an emitter of UVA radiation. The treatment is virtually free of side effects and complications. However, severe cases require surgery. It must be well-assessed by a corneal topography and a measurement of the corneal thickness by pachymetry the stage of the disease.
If there is no corneal opacity and thickness, it can be operated by inserting biocompatible material rings or Kera-rings in the corneal thickness. This allows the correction of astigmatism and strengthens the corneal structure. On the other hand, if there is corneal opacity or thickness, one cannot insert Kera rings. The process of iltrapianto needs to be followed, wherein the superficial corneal layer is removed and in place is sutured a lamella corneal obtained from donor.
This photograph shows a fully thick corneal transplantation (keratoplasty) performed by dr. Panic with continuous suture.