Keratoconus is a degenerative disease of the cornea that causes it to gradually thin and bulge into a cone-like shape. This shape prevents light from focusing precisely on the macula. As the disease progresses, the cone becomes more pronounced, causing vision to become blurred and distorted.

Because of the cornea's irregular shape, patients with keratoconus are usually very nearsighted and have a high degree of astigmatism that is not correctable with glasses.

Keratoconus is sometimes an inherited problem that usually occurs in both eyes.