Gill Eye Care

Dr. Teri Gill Butler, O.D. 2711 W. Kingshighway STE 4, Pargould AR 72450 - P: 870-236-9371



Keratoconus is a vision disorder that occurs when the normally round cornea (the front part

of the eye) becomes thin and irregular (cone) shaped. This abnormal shape prevents the light

entering the eye from being focused correctly on the retina and causes distortion of vision.

In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased

sensitivity to glare and light. These symptoms usually appear in the late teens or late 20s.

Keratoconus may progress for 10-20 years and then slow in its progression. Each eye may

be affected differently. As keratoconus progresses, the cornea bulges more and vision may

become more distorted. In a small number of cases, the cornea will swell and cause a sudden

and significant decrease in vision. The swelling occurs when the strain of the cornea’s protruding

cone-like shape causes a tiny crack to develop. The swelling may last for weeks or months as

the crack heals and is gradually replaced by scar tissue. If this sudden swelling does occur, your

doctor can prescribe eyedrops for temporary relief, but there are no medicines that can prevent

the disorder from progressing.

Eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may be used to correct the mild nearsightedness and

astigmatism that is caused by the early stages for keratoconus. As the disorder progresses and

cornea continues to thin and change shape, rigid gas permeable contact lenses can be prescribed

to correct vision adequately. In most cases, this is adequate. The contact lenses must be carefully

fitted, and frequent checkups and lens changes may be needed to achieve and maintain good


In a few cases, a corneal transplant is necessary. However, even after a corneal transplant,

eyeglasses or contact lenses are often still needed to correct vision.