cause of corneal transplantations in young people

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye disorder in which the central or paracentral area of the cornea progressively thins. Its usual spherical shape becomes conical, causing irregular astigmatism that distorts images, and a subsequent decrease in vision.

Keratoconus is one of the main reasons for corneal transplant surgery in young patients.

What causes it?

Keratoconus is passed from parents to children in approximately 25% of cases. In the remaining cases, it appears sporadically, linked to complex patterns of inheritance that are the subject of ongoing research.

There are also cases related to eye allergies or continuous rubbing of the eyes.

How can it be prevented?

There are no preventative measures for keratoconus, but there are treatments available to arrest its development. Early detection is essential to prevent the disorder from advancing and requiring corneal transplant surgery.

There are also mild forms that do not cause visual impairment and can only be diagnosed through topographic examination.

It is recommended that relatives of keratoconus patients, although not appearing to be affected, undergo a visual examination, as they may be carriers of the disease.

Most at risk of keratoconus are children and young people, so it is important to encourage these age groups to have regular eye examinations.


The main symptom is decreased vision and the onset or sudden increase of astigmatism.

Astigmatism is normally induced by a refractive defect in the cornea which, unlike myopia or hyperopia, does not tend to develop naturally with age.

It is therefore important for any patient suffering from a sudden increase in refractive defect, especially if children or young people, to have a complete topographic examination to rule out the presence of keratoconus.

Associated treatments

There are several treatment options available depending on the severity of the disease:

In mild cases of keratoconus, good vision can be achieved through correction with glasses.

In more advanced cases, hard contact lenses are required to correct irregular astigmatism.

In some cases, it may be necessary to resort to surgical treatments, such as intrastromal corneal rings to stabilise the cornea, or corneal cross-linking, a procedure that has proven highly effective in slowing down the progression of keratoconus.

In more severe cases, when vision has been reduced significantly, the only solution is keratoplasty, also known as corneal transplantation. These days, transplantation can often be performed by selectively replacing the affected layers of the cornea and preserving the healthy tissue.


IMO Institute of Ocular Microsurgery

Josep María Lladó, 3
08035 Barcelona
Phone: (+34) 934 000 700
See map on Google Maps

By car

GPS navigator coordinates:
41º 24’ 38” N – 02º 07’ 29” E

Exit 7 of the Ronda de Dalt (mountain side). The clinic has a car park with more than 200 parking spaces.

By bus

Autobus H2: Rotonda de Bellesguard, parada 1540

Autobus 196: Josep Maria Lladó-Bellesguard, parada 3191

Autobuses H2, 123, 196: Ronda de Dalt – Bellesguard, parada 0071

IMO Madrid

C/ Valle de Pinares Llanos, 3
28035 Madrid
Phone: (+34) 910 783 783
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Public transport

Metro Lacoma (líne 7)

  • Lines 49 & 64, stop “Senda del Infante”
  • Line N21, stop “Metro Lacoma”


Patient care:
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

IMO Andorra

Av. de les Nacions Unides, 17
AD700 Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra
Phone: (+376) 688 55 44
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IMO Manresa

C/ Carrasco i Formiguera, 33 (Baixos)
08242 – Manresa
Tel: (+34) 938 749 160
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Public transport

FGC. Line R5 & R50 direction Manresa. Station/Stop: Baixador de Manresa


Monday to Friday, 08:30 A.M – 13:30 PM / 15:00 PM – 20:00 PM

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