Keratoconus (easy read)

Easy read fact sheet on Keratoconus. 

This is an easy read document

Keratoconus is a problem with your eyes


Our eyes need to be healthy for us to see well.

This factsheet is about an eye problem called keratoconus.


Keratoconus affects the front of the eye.

The front part of your eye is called the cornea.


If you have keratoconus your cornea slowly changes shape.

This may make your eyesight get worse.

Three people

People with Down’s syndrome are more likely to have keratoconus.

Keratoconus may happen quickly or very slowly.

A calendar

Having an eye test every 2 years is important.


Opticians test your eyes.

They are also called optometrists.

We call them opticians in this factsheet.

The optician will check whether you have keratoconus.

What is it like having keratoconus?

Blurred vision

You may not be able to see things clearly.

Clear vision

This could be things like looking at a screen, someone’s face.


Reading and watching TV may also become difficult.

Covering eyes

Bright lights and the sun may hurt your eyes.


You might need to wear a cap or dark glasses, even in winter!

Rubbing eyes

Your eyes might get very tired.

Your eyes may be itchy.

Try not to rub or poke your eye as it might harm your eye.



You will need to go to the hospital eye clinic to have your eyes checked.

It is important that you get the treatment you need quickly.


Many people wear glasses at first.

Contact lenses

Contact lenses

If you have keratoconus, you may need to wear contact lenses instead of glasses.

The contact lenses help to keep the cornea in shape.


The hospital eye clinic will show you how to put your contact lenses on your eye correctly.


At first, you wear your contact lenses for a short time each day.

This will help you get used to wearing them.


Sometimes when wearing contact lenses you can be sensitive to the sunlight.

You might find it very bright.


You can wear sunglasses as well as your contact lenses.

Rubbing eyes

Contact lenses may make your eyes feel itchy.

Try not to rub your eyes.

Cleaning fluid

You will need to keep your contact lenses clean.

The optician can tell you which cleaning fluid you need.


You can buy the cleaning fluid from the optician or from the chemist.

The chemist is also known as a Pharmacy.

Hand washing

Wash your hands before and after using contact lenses.

This will make the chance of an eye infection less likely.

Irritated eye

An eye infection can make your eyes feel sore or itchy.

GP surgery

If you have itchy or sore eyes, see your GP or optician.

Eye operations

A doctor

If glasses and contact lenses don’t help, you may need to have an eye operation.

A doctor

Your eye doctor will tell you what type of eye operation is best for you.

A form

If your eye doctor says you need an operation for keratoconus, you can choose if you want this.

Our Eye Surgery Support Plan will help you to choose.