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Keratoconus at work

Posted: Wed 18 Jun 2014 5:39 pm
So today I finally found out why my life has been a nightmare for the last few years. I have Keratonis in my left eye. It has been a few years since I first noticed, but being male, I put off. I then missed a few appointment due to work etc, but finally decided there is no way you should feel like this so got to the eye hospital.

Now over the years I became sensitive to light, struggled with night glare, sun glare, playing the console gave me eye strain followed by a headache pretty quickly (not the green based FIFA I notice though), and also reading from a distance which is part of my job which I will get to below.

I work on a production line, in a fast paced, very bright working environment, for a huge UK vehicle manufacturer. My job involves using my eyes to see the next vehicle build card coming so I can prepare for the next job, something I have struggled with, previously moaned about, but told there is no more space to enlarge any more. My job is time critical, so there is no time to go over and pick the card up, read it, and continue (every 81 seconds in an 8 hour shift). That is just not possible without halting a £multibillion production line and 1000s of people.

Seriously, the light kill me. Every day my head bangs, my eyes burn, I feel like they are gonna explode, I get grumpy, and moan about everything. I have in fact had maintenance up near the ceiling trying to block a bright light on another line even before I found out I had KC. It was not possible.

So bright lights give me headaches, and the struggle to focus on my build card strains my eyes. It is wrose when I am tired, and as I am on a 3 shift pattern this includes nights. Night shift I am a zombie for the week as my eyes kill me. It is not possible to make the environment darker as it need to be lit, all production areas do. So where do I stand, and how do I go about it?

Re: Keratoconus at work

Posted: Wed 18 Jun 2014 7:48 pm
by Lia Williams
Hi Sapfo,

Welcome to the forum.

There are some useful information in this factsheet. ... eaflet.pdf

Sensitivity to light is not unusual and in the bright sunshine I'm never without my sunglasses or I'm likely to have a headache a few hours later. However I have found that with contact lenses that minimise ghosting light sensitivity is also reduced.

Hopefully now that you have been to the eye hospital they will be able to optimise your vision. Some people with mild keratoconus do manage with glasses but because of the irregular astigmatism they can be harder (ie take longer) for the optician to find the best prescription as we are unlikely to give inconsistent answers to their 'better or worse' questions. If glasses are no longer giving good enough vision then contact lenses are prescribed. There are lots of different types of contact lenses and it can take several appointments to find a pair that are comfortable and optimise the vision.

Good luck,


Re: Keratoconus at work

Posted: Thu 19 Jun 2014 10:31 am
by Anne Klepacz
I've moved your post to the general discussion forum, where more people might see it.
I don't know whereabouts in the UK you are, but the charity Action for Blind People has employment advisors who deal with all sorts of eye problems. You can find the nearest office to you by going to their website
And if you put 'keratoconus access to employment' into the search on You Tube, you'll find a talk that AFBP gave at our 2011 conference. Or if you'd prefer a transcript of the talk and/or our information booklet on keratoconus, just e-mail

Re: Keratoconus at work

Posted: Tue 24 Jun 2014 2:53 pm
by danieljdavies

Could you wear shades? or have glasses which are tinted?

im continuously taking painkillers for headaches. eye drops do help a bit and also forhead or hedex menthol sticks.