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Can you be born with keratoconus?
Patients aren't born with keratoconus. Rather, they start showing the first signs of keratoconus around the age of puberty when the cornea naturally begins to thin and protrude from the rest of the eyeball. While researchers have found a higher incidence of keratoconus amongst related individuals, there have not been any genes isolated for the disease. The current thinking is that keratoconus is due to a combination of factors related to having an excessively stretchable cornea and eye rubbing, which causes the cornea to warp into an abnormal shape. In certain genetic diseases such as Marfan's syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, patients have more stretchable tissue. Patients with severe Atopic Disease or Down's Syndrome tend to rub their eyes frequently and vigorously. In all of these conditions, there is a higher risk for developing keratoconus.
Answered by: Omar R. Chaudhary, MD
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Answered: Oct 22, 2013
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