Students with Keratoconus Disease in Saudi Arabia Research Proposal

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The Effect of Keratoconus Disease on the Education Levels among Students at Different Ages to Determine the Locations of Their Spread in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Keratoconus disease is a disorder in the curvature of the eyes. Keratoconus occurs when the cornea becomes thin and bulges like a cone, altering the focus of light rays, blurring and distorting the person’s vision, and making it difficult to do daily tasks such as reading. The disease is believed to be genetic and typical onset begins in the teens or early 20s and gradually worsens over a period of 10 to 20 years.

Purpose of the Study

As keratoconus is thought to be hereditary, the study of its prevalence in among endogamous marriage groups could be beneficial in developing a better understanding of how this disease is spread. Among certain regions and groups in Saudi Arabia as well as throughout the Middle East, endogamy and disease prevalence have been identified as having a strong correlation (Jaber, Shohat, Rotter & Shohat, 1997; Millodot, Shneor, Albou, Atlani & Gordon-Shaag, 2011; Khan, Abu-Safieh, Eisenberger, Bolz & Alkuraya, 2013; Gordon-Shaag, Millodot, Shneor & Liu, 2015). Moreover, a study that focuses primarily on the student population impacted by keratoconus could be beneficial in helping to determine locations of the spread of the disease throughout the KSA.

Since students between the ages of 14 and 22 are the individuals most likely to make complaints of poor eyesight, this population should be studied in order to plot the locations where keratoconus is most prevalent.

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Students may leave their homes or their communities to study in other colleges. By examining their condition and obtaining data regarding their origins, this study could pinpoint precisely where keratoconus is most likely to occur in the future.


Assiri, Yousuf, Quantock & Murphy (2005) show that the incidence and associated signs and symptoms of patients with keratoconus in Saudi Arabia is high “with an early onset and more rapid progress to the severe disease stage at a young age” which may very well “reflect the influence of genetic and/or environmental factor(s) in the aetiology of keratoconus” (p. 1403). In order to better understand the environmental factors that play a role in the etiology of keratoconus, a broader survey of young persons is needed to fill the present gap in literature.

Abu-Amero, Al-Muammar & Kondkar (2014) state that keratoconus “has a complex multifactorial etiology, with environmental, behavioral, and….....

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Abu-Amero, K. K., Al-Muammar, A. M., & Kondkar, A. A. (2014). Genetics of keratoconus: where do we stand?. Journal of Ophthalmology, 2014, Article ID 641708, 1-11.

Assiri, A. A., Yousuf, B. I., Quantock, A. J., & Murphy, P. J. (2005). Incidence and severity of keratoconus in Asir province, Saudi Arabia. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 89(11), 1403-1406.

Gordon-Shaag, A., Millodot, M., Shneor, E., & Liu, Y. (2015). The genetic and environmental factors for keratoconus. BioMed Research International, 2015.

Jaber, L., Shohat, T., Rotter, J. I., & Shohat, M. (1997). Consanguinity and common adult diseases in Israeli Arab communities. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, 70(4), 346-348.

Khan, A. O., Abu-Safieh, L., Eisenberger, T., Bolz, H. J., & Alkuraya, F. S. (2013). The RPGRIP1-related retinal phenotype in children. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 97(6), 760-764.

Millodot, M., Shneor, E., Albou, S., Atlani, E., & Gordon-Shaag, A. (2011). Prevalence and associated factors of keratoconus in Jerusalem: a cross-sectional study. Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 18(2), 91-97.

Statista. (2018). Number of Facebook users in Saudi Arabia from 2015 to 2022 (in millions). Retrieved from

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