Macular degeneration causes loss in the center of the field of vision. In dry macular degeneration, the center of the retina deteriorates. With wet macular degeneration, leaky blood vessels grow under the retina.
Blurred vision is a key symptom.
A special combination of vitamins and minerals (AREDS formula) may reduce disease progression. Surgery may also be an option.
Keratoconus involves the cornea, the front most part of the eye, which becomes thin, and then can bulge out in ways that make correction with glasses difficult. It usually involves both sides although one side is worse. When it occurs only in one eye and not regularly followed, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat properly.
In keratoconus, there is a thinning of the cornea caused by collagen deterioration. This can be usually detected by an ophthalmologist with his slit lamp, which is a low magnification microscope.
Vision loss is always distressing, but arguably is even worse when it afflicts young people in the process of developing their identity, and interferes with schoolwork.
Keratoconus is usually begins in adolescence, progresses over 10 to 20 years, and stabilizes in the third decade of life.
There are a number of treatments depending upon the severity of the condition. In the beginning glasses suffice. Later on, a hard scleral contact lens can be used. There are treatments aimed at cross linking the corneal collagen and strengthening it. The worst cases require a corneal transplant.
The most important thing is to go promptly to a good eye doctor, preferably an ophthalmologist.