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Keratoconus journeys

Everyone has a story. Find some inspirational ones here.

You may come across someone’s story you can identify with—or someone whose experience is very different. Community is made up of many kinds of people and many distinctive stories. Now that you’re here, read on for insights, encouragement, and relatable content. 

Man and woman fist-bumping.
  • Keratoconus Journey: Jack

    Growing up in Chicago, Jack loved baseball. He began playing at a young age and continued to play throughout high school. Jack’s passion for the game was undeniable, but he quickly realized his ability to hit the ball was declining as he was struggling to see clearly. Realizing his eyesight was becoming a problem…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Jack
  • Keratoconus Journey: Nate

    Nate Pasell was just 22 years old when he began experiencing symptoms of keratoconus (KC). He had lived all his life with 20/20 vision, then suddenly he had double, and blurry vision coupled with sporadic headaches. Once the symptoms began impacting his work, he knew it was time to see his eye doctor. Nate was…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Nate
  • Keratoconus Journey: Cameron

    With symptoms like blurred vision, headaches, and excessive eye rubbing, keratoconus can easily be misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed, with clinicians looking to prescribe glasses or contact lenses as a logical answer to address vision-related concerns when there seems to be no other explanation. That’s what happened to Cameron Poplin of South Carolina who at age 20…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Cameron
  • Keratoconus Journey: J’Shawn

    Even before graduating high school, J’Shawn Gill was already an accomplished ballet and Broadway jazz dancer, starring in a music video for “This is Me” from the movie “The Greatest Showman” along with the cast of the popular TV show “Queer Eye”. His involvement led to an appearance on The Today Show and several other…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: J’Shawn
  • Emily’s Keratoconus Journey, Part 2: After iLink®

    Having struggled with vision issues since she was in the eighth grade, Emily eventually learned that she was living with progressive keratoconus. Emily’s eye disease began to impact her work as a first-grade teacher when she experienced debilitating headaches that interfered with her ability to read books to her students and she struggled to see her coworkers’ and…

    Read more: Emily’s Keratoconus Journey, Part 2: After iLink®
  • Emily’s Keratoconus Journey, Part 1: Before iLink®

    When Emily was in the eighth grade, she noticed that it was difficult for her to see the whiteboard during class. After visiting an eye doctor, Emily was given glasses and sent on her way. At the time, Emily had no idea that this was only the beginning of a long road filled with vision…

    Read more: Emily’s Keratoconus Journey, Part 1: Before iLink®
  • Keratoconus Journey: Aaron

    An Unexpected Turn Aaron was an active teen growing up. He participated in many sports despite wearing thick glasses to see clearly. As a high school varsity football player, Aaron’s teammates often teased him for his poor vision– specifically his troubles locating the ball on the field. Despite his love of football, his eyesight often…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Aaron
  • Keratoconus Journey: Dione

    Dione had been living in a “haze” of blurry vision since she was 18 years old. She tried a variety of contact lenses hoping they would help her to see better. However, it wasn’t until 2011, when she received an unexpected diagnosis, that she realized she would need more than just lenses to treat her…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Dione
  • Keratoconus Journey: Trayci

    Growing up, Trayci didn’t know a life without contacts or glasses, so when she had the option to receive Lasik, she took it. However, 14 years after receiving the procedure, she once again found her vision declining. Soon after, she was shocked to learn she was living with a progressive vision condition. Life’s Unexpected Turn…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Trayci
  • Keratoconus Journey: Joe

    When Joe was a teenager, he began wearing disposable contact lenses to help improve his vision. Nearly two decades later, after entering the workforce and traveling the world, Joe moved to the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and began looking for a new eye doctor. When he found one, it led him down a path…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Joe
  • Keratoconus Journey: Casey

    Casey noticed his vision was blurry at just 15 years old. An initial diagnosis determined he had a cataract, but after undergoing the recommended corrective surgery, his vision only continued to decline. A second opinion found that he was in fact living with keratoconus. Learning to Cope After an unsuccessful cataract surgery in 10th grade,…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Casey
  • Keratoconus Journey: Jackson

    Jackson has had a rocky relationship with his vision for years. He tried his best to adapt to his declining vision, and even got his first pair of glasses, however his vision only continued to worsen. After struggling for over a decade, Jackson finally learned what was causing his vision issues: keratoconus. Disrupting His Livelihood…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Jackson
  • Keratoconus Journey: Chris H.

    Since he was a young boy, Chris’ life has revolved around baseball. But when he started to have difficulty seeing and was forced to hang up his glove, he began looking for solutions to strikeout his vision challenges. By his early 20s, Chris had given up hope on a future baseball career. His trouble visually tracking…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Chris H.
  • Keratoconus Journey: Diana

    At 14 years old, Diana found herself squinting to see the board at school and while watching television in the comfort of her own home. Her family saw she was struggling to see so they made an appointment at a local eye doctor to find out what was wrong with her eyes. At that time,…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Diana
  • Health is His Wealth: Ryan’s Unexpected Journey With Progressive Keratoconus

    Ryan Murphy is a 26-year-old college graduate of California State University, Northridge who lives by the motto, “health is wealth”. He is passionate about health and fitness and enjoys spending time outdoors with friends. However, an unexpected vision challenge threatened Ryan’s healthy and active lifestyle. After noticing he was struggling to see clearly when driving at night…

    Read more: Health is His Wealth: Ryan’s Unexpected Journey With Progressive Keratoconus
  • Keratoconus Journey: Nishi

    An Unusual College Experience Going to college is a big transition for any teenager. The first year is typically filled with new feelings, challenges and opportunities that shape the kind of adult you will eventually become. But for Nishi, dealing with a keratoconus diagnosis was a challenge she hadn’t expected. Growing up Nishi had 20/20…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Nishi
  • Keratoconus Journey: Bekah

    Road to Self-Advocacy Bekah went to her local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) near Austin, Texas, to renew her expiring driver’s license, but she didn’t expect what would happen next. A 36-year-old mother of four, Bekah had never experienced any vision issues and initially believed the news that she had failed the vision portion of…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Bekah
  • Keratonconus Journey: Max

    “Just” a Routine Visit to the Eye Doctor Max was just a typical 15-year-old from Columbus, Ohio when his eye health changed forever. It started with a routine optometrist visit with his older sister, Morgan, to pick up a new prescription for contact lenses. During his eye exam, the doctor became concerned that the shape…

    Read more: Keratonconus Journey: Max
  • Keratoconus Journey: Kenny

    At the age of 32, Kenny’s optometrist told him his vision was rapidly deteriorating, but his fear of eye drops, contacts, and medical procedures stopped him from visiting a specialist he was referred to who would ultimately diagnose him with a progressive eye condition. Initial Suspicions When Kenny was 12 years old, his optometrist presented…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Kenny
  • Keratoconus Journey: Shanice

    A Glaring Interruption Growing up, Shanice was a talented athlete who dreamed of competing at the highest level of sports. In high school she was a standout player, eventually winning a scholarship to play division one college basketball for four years. After a strong college career, she was offered a chance to play professionally in…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Shanice
  • John’s “Crazy” Keratoconus Journey

    Ever since he was a young boy, John, now 26 years old, has always loved making people smile. As he got older, it brought him such joy to make others happy that he decided to make a career out of it. John, who has progressive keratoconus and Down syndrome, teamed up with his father, Mark,…

    Read more: John’s “Crazy” Keratoconus Journey
  • Keratoconus Journey: Luke

    Luke’s journey began at a young age. In 2nd grade, he started complaining of general vision issues, including blurry and double vision. That was when his mom took him to a Walmart Vision Center, where an optometrist fitted Luke with glasses to help him see. In 4th grade, after his family moved to southeast Michigan, they suspected…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Luke
  • Keratoconus Journey: Louis

    As a young high school student, life can bring many challenges – whether it be schoolwork, sports, or friendships. While most teens are navigating through their adolescence and growing pains, others – like Louis – are discovering they are also living with a progressive eye condition.  Unexpected Challenges When Louis was 15 years old and…

    Read more: Keratoconus Journey: Louis
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Important Safety Information

Ulcerative keratitis, a potentially serious eye infection, can occur. Your doctor should monitor defects in the outermost corneal layer of the eye for resolution.

The most common ocular side effect is haze. Other ocular side effects include inflammation, fine white lines, dry eye, disruption of surface cells, eye pain, light sensitivity, reduced sharpness of vision, and blurred vision. The risk information provided here is not comprehensive. To learn more, talk to your healthcare provider.

Go to Prescribing Info to obtain the FDA-approved product labeling.

You are encouraged to report all side effects to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Approved Uses

Photrexa® Viscous (riboflavin 5’-phosphate in 20% dextran ophthalmic solution) and Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate ophthalmic solution) are used with the KXL® System in corneal cross-linking to treat eyes in which the cornea, the clear dome shaped surface that covers the front of the eye, has been weakened from the progression of the disease keratoconus or following refractive surgery, a method for correcting or improving your vision.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.