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A Letter to My Younger Self with Keratoconus

A Letter to My Younger Self with Keratoconus

Dear 16 year old me,

I know you are scared and depressed right now. You have just been diagnosed with keratoconus, a condition that affects your cornea, the clear front surface of your eye. You have learned that your cornea is thinning and bulging into a cone shape, causing your vision to be blurry, distorted and sensitive to light. You have also learned that this condition usually affects both eyes and can get worse over time.

You may feel like your life is over. You may wonder how you will cope with school, work, hobbies and relationships. You may feel alone and misunderstood. You may feel angry and hopeless.

But I want you to know that you are not alone. There are many people who have keratoconus and who understand what you are going through. There are also many doctors who can help you manage your condition and improve your vision.

One of the treatments that you will undergo is called corneal crosslinking. This is a procedure that strengthens your cornea by applying vitamin B2 drops and ultraviolet light. This can slow down or stop the progression of keratoconus and prevent further damage to your eye. You will have this done when you are 18 years old.

Another treatment that you will use is hybrid contact lenses. These are special lenses that combine a rigid center with a soft outer ring. They can correct your vision by smoothing out the irregular shape of your cornea. You will start wearing them when you are 20 years old.

It will take some time until you find a good eye doctor who can prescribe these treatments for you. You will have to try different types of lenses until you find the ones that fit comfortably and provide clear vision. You will also have to follow up regularly with your doctor to monitor your eye health.

But don't give up hope. These treatments will make a big difference in your life. They will help you see better and feel more confident. They will allow you to pursue your dreams and goals without letting keratoconus hold you back.

You have so much potential and so much to offer the world. Don't let keratoconus define who you are or what you can do. Remember that you are more than your eyesight.

Living with keratoconus is not easy, but it is not impossible either. You will face many challenges along the way, such as frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions, problems with night driving due to glare, difficulty reading or using computers, frustration or anxiety about your appearance or self-esteem, etc.

But you will also learn how to cope with these challenges by finding support from others who share your experience, educating yourself about your condition, seeking professional help when needed, taking good care of yourself physically and mentally, etc.

You will discover new strengths within yourself as well as new opportunities outside yourself. You will realize that keratoconus does not limit what you can achieve or enjoy in life as long as you adapt and overcome.

Remember that I am always here for you. I am proud of you for being strong and resilient in the face of adversity. I am happy for you for finding joy and meaning in life despite having keratoconus.

You will get through this.


26 year old

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