Keratoconus & Staying Active: A Patient Story

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Keratoconus & Staying Active: A Patient Story

While staying active requires you to physically push your body, it also requires you to use your vision. Activities such as basketball, football, and other sports typically require good vision. Keratoconus (KC) may seem to put an end to these activities, but Steven Hooper proves that it is possible to continue to stay active and enjoy sports even if you have KC.

Steven Hooper was diagnosed with KC at a young age. At first, he had no difficulty continuing to stay active and play rugby, his favorite sport. As time went on, his vision became worse and it became necessary for him to wear specialized contact lenses (Rigid Gas Permeable lenses or RGP) in order to see well enough to play. Unfortunately, these lenses were too uncomfortable for Steven and he eventually quit playing rugby altogether due to his poor vision.

After quitting rugby, Steven assumed that he would never be able to play a competitive sport again because he had KC. However, after undergoing a successful corneal transplant, Steven realized having KC does not mean that you can no longer play sports. He realized that extra precautions simply have to be taken to avoid eye damage and complications. That is why he decided to start playing American football, a sport that allows him to be competitive and have fun, all while protecting his eyes from damage with a helmet and protective glasses now lives an active lifestyle that includes football, despite the fact that he was diagnosed with KC.

Steven has advice that he wants to share with others with KC who are struggling to stay active. First, he advises each individual to visit his or her doctor. It is extremely important to talk to your doctor about how you can safely and comfortably enjoy various activities. Secondly, he encourages everyone to wear protective items such as goggles and helmets while engaging in physical activities to ensure eye protection. Thirdly, he states to never give up. He strongly believes that anyone can live the life of their dreams, even if he or she has KC.

Cornell vs Brown University, Homecoming 2017. Schoelkopf Field, Oct 21, 2017.
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