I have worn glasses ever since I can remember. When I was in my early thirties I was diagnosed with an eye disorder called Keratoconus, on top of being short-sighted and having astigmatism in both eyes. I didn’t really know what it meant for me, and it was scary because I love Photography. I had noticed a worsening in my vision. Keratoconus (from Greek: kerato- horn, cornea; and konos cone) is a degenerative disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than the more normal gradual curve.
Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light all oftenreported by the patient.If afflicting both eyes, the deterioration in vision can affect the patient’s ability to drive a car or read normal print (Wikipedia source).
So I have had to rely heavily on my glasses. There have been times (without my glasses on ) when I look at my son across the room and can’t tell if his eyes are opened or closed, it’s hard to see the edges of steps and I wouldn’t cross a road without my glasses on.
When I was diagnosed I was told I would reach a point when glasses would be no good, I could only have the hard contact lenses as they would help correct the shape of my cornea. I really tried on and off over the years but couldn’t tolerate them. I would need a corneal topography every year to map the progress of this disorder. Last year there was a sudden change in my vision and I was back at the hospital, which was really scary because I’m a photographer! Luckily, things have progressed since I was diagnosed and they were able to offer me a combination lens, soft around the outside and hard at the centre. So they would be more comfortable to wear and apply pressure to the cornea thus correcting my vision whilst wearing the lenses.
I am slowly trying to get used to my face with no glasses on….weird, it’s been so long I forgot what I looked like! And to see it in such great detail…I was young the last time, but hey ho, such is life. I noticed to me my face looked a different shape and also my stature was different to what I had been seeing over the years. Then this week in a conversation with my mother I realised it must be because before I was seeing myself and the world through my out of date glasses using a cornea that was distorted. Now I am seeing the world through my lenses that are correcting my vision. I can now see strands of hair on a ladies head sitting two rows away on the train! Amazing! So if I am viewing the world differently, I now wonder as I enter a new phase in my life, whether the way I view things down the lens of a camera whilst wearing my contact lenses, will my photography change also ?
For further information on Keratoconus visit