The Indian Keratoconus Foundation

The Indian Keratoconus Foundation (IKCF) is a dedicated outreach platform to increase awareness and understanding of Keratoconus.

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In India alone, it is estimated that 2.3 % population is affected by Keratoconus.

We aim to provide appropriate guidance and access to resources that may help you to understand and deal with Keratoconus better. Through the IKCF, we hope to enable empowerment of patients and their parents by connecting people dealing with Keratoconus to experts and relate to others living with Keratoconus for their emotional well-being.

It is estimated that 2.3 % of our population in India may be affected by Keratoconus. As this condition strikes early, but is usually diagnosed at a later stage, we believe it is of paramount significance to spread awareness and provide access to relevant resources about Keratoconus.

Mission and Vision

Enable uniform and easy access to information about Keratoconus and to allow patients to connect with each other and share their experience in dealing with this disease.

What is Keratoconus

The cornea is a clear, dome-shaped tissue at the front of our eyes that helps eyes to focus light enabling clear vision. Keratoconus is an eye condition in which the normally round, dome-shaped cornea progressively thins, and gradually bulges outwards like a cone. The change in shape of cornea causes blurry and distorted vision, thereby making daily tasks such as reading or driving difficult.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

  • Round objects appear to be oval
  • Frequent change in spectacle power
  • Blurred & distorted vision; straight lines look bent or wavy
  • increased sensitivity to light and glare

What Causes Keratoconus

The exact cause of Keratoconus is unknown. There are many theories based on research and its association with other conditions. However, no one theory explains it all and it may be caused by a combination of things.

It is believed that genetics, the environment and the endocrine system, all play a role in Keratoconus.

One scientific view is that keratoconus is developmental (i.e., genetic) in origin because in some cases there does appear to be a familial association. From the presently available information there is less than ‘one in ten chance’ that a blood relative of a keratoconic patient will have keratoconus. The majority of patients with keratoconus do not have other family members with the disease. Some studies show that keratoconus corneas lack important anchoring fibrils that structurally stabilize the anterior cornea. This increased flexibility allows that cornea to “bulge forward” into a cone-shaped appearance
Keratoconus corneas are more easily damaged by minor trauma such as eye rubbing. Poorly fit contact lenses (that rub against the irregularity of the KC cornea) have been suggested as a possible cause of keratoconus; this has not been proven and remains questionable.

Many who have keratoconus report vigorous eye rubbing and also have allergies (which cause eye itching and irritation, leading to eye rubbing), however the link to allergic disease also remains unclear. A higher percent of keratoconic patients have atopic disease than the general population. Disorders such as hay fever, eczema, asthma, and food allergies are all considered atopic diseases. Those with KC are advised to avoid eye rubbing as much as possible.

Some studies indicate an abnormal processing of the superoxide radicals in the keratoconus cornea and an involvement of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of this disease. Keratoconus corneas lack the ability to self-repair routine damage easily repaired by normal corneas. Like any tissues in the body, the cornea creates harmful by-products of cell metabolism called free radicals. Normal corneas, like any other body tissue, have a defence system in place to neutralize these free radicals so they don’t damage the collagen, the structural part of the cornea, weakening it and causing the cornea to thin and bulge. The keratoconus corneas do not possess the ability to eliminate the free radicals so they stay in the tissue and can cause structural damage.
Another hypothesis is that the endocrine system may be involved because keratoconus is generally first detected at puberty and progresses during pregnancy. This theory is still controversial and has not been proven.

It is important to understand the nature of keratoconus, and to develop a positive attitude of learning to live with this lifelong condition. Keratoconus is manageable.

Living with Keratoconus

People react differently to the news that they have Keratoconus (KC). Lack of knowledge often creates fear, so learn all that you can about this condition. Ask questions and discuss your concerns with your doctor and others who have Keratoconus. This will be both enlightening and reassuring. While it is important that you accept Keratoconus as a fact in your life and realize that you have to adapt to it, it is essential for you to understand that adapting is not surrendering. You control your life, keratoconus does not!

From a medical standpoint, the most important thing you can do is to keep in touch with your eye care practitioner and follow his/her instructions.

From an emotional and psychological standpoint, it is important to understand the nature of Keratoconus and to talk freely about it with family and friends to be sure that they understand it.

Perhaps there is no better therapy than sharing your experiences with others in similar circumstances. If at all possible, talk with other keratoconus patients. The mutual sharing of common experiences is both rewarding and reassuring. For information about support group in your area, contact us.

Hear from some Kerataconic patients

Master Shukri Murhad Sarhan, 11, from Yemen treated for advanced keratoconous

PROSE Lenses Have Been a Boon for Sandeep

Mirchi Shadab on early detection and care for Keratoconus

Shanmukha’s Remarkable Recovery After Eye Disorder

Treatment Options

There are a variety of treatment options for keratoconus that divide into two categories. The first objective is to stop the disease from getting worse. This is done by treating associated conditions such as allergies to prevent rubbing of the eyes. Collagen cross linking is a treatment that has shown very promising results in stopping progression of keratoconus.

Surgical Treatment Options

Intra Corneal Rings are plastic rings inserted into the cornea that flatten the cone.

Corneal transplantation: the abnormal corneal shape is removed partially or entirety and is replaced with a healthy donor cornea tissue. Corneal transplants are the last resort as there is significant recovery time and follow-up care required.

Reach Us

Administrative Office

Kallam Anji Reddy Campus
L V Prasad Marg, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad


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