World Keratoconus Day Date in the current year: November 10, 2024

World Keratoconus Day World Keratoconus Day is observed annually on November 10. It was established in 2016 to raise awareness of an eye disorder that affects about 50 to 200 of every 100,000 people regardless of their ethnicity and region of origin.

Keratoconus is a very little researched degenerative disorder of the cornea that results in its progressive thinning; the cornea eventually changes to a cone shape, hence the name of the disorder. The common signs and symptoms of keratoconus include blurred vision, diplopia (double vision), myopia (near-sightedness), astigmatism, and photosensitivity. As a rule, the disorder affects both corneas, although the distortion is not identical in both eyes.

The exact cause of keratoconus is unknown but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. The disease commonly begins to develop at the onset of puberty, but it is rarely diagnosed until the late teens or early 20s because it is easily confused with other refractive defects of the eye at early stages. Keratoconus is clinically diagnosed by corneal topography.

Keratoconus may develop differently in different people. Some patients experience rapid deterioration of vision followed by a long-term period of stability, while others experience more gradual deterioration or periods of deterioration alternating with periods of stability. It is generally believed that the early onset of the disease may indicate a greater risk of severity in the future.

Keratoconus rarely results in complete loss of vision, but it can greatly worsen one’s quality of life; severe keratoconus may lead to significant visual impairment and legal blindness. In early stages, glasses or soft contact lenses can be enough to provide visual acuity, but as the disease progresses, patients find themselves in need of special contact lenses for keratoconus.

In most people with keratoconus, vision would eventually stabilize. However, between 10% to 27% of cases of the disease will progress to a point where surgery is required. Common surgical methods of keratoconus treatment are penetrating keratoplasty (corneal transplantation), non-penetrating keratoplasty (epikeratophakia), and corneal ring implantation.

World Keratoconus Day was initiated in 2016 by the National Keratokonus Foundation, an outreach educational program of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute of the University of California, Irvine. Its main goal is to increase awareness of keratoconus and other corneal ectatic disorders (such as keratoglobus, pellucid marginal degeneration, Terrien’s marginal degeneration), as well as to help people with keratoconus by providing resources to them and their families.

World Keratoconus Day events are organized worldwide by various healthcare organizations and companies, ophthalmologists and researchers, celebrities, people living with keratoconus and members of their families, and other stakeholders. They include open lectures and educational seminars, free screenings and consultations, and more.

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World Keratoconus Day, international observances, eye disorder, cornea disorder, National Keratoconus Foundation