Australian College of Optometry
Cnr Keppel and Cardigan Sts Carlton VIC
Entry by Donation ($5+ please)
Dr Elsie Chan, researcher at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) presented an update on the latest results from the world's longest running randomized trial of crosslinking which was conducted at CERA.
Dr Chan reviewed developments in crosslinking around the world, where a range of protocols are now being adopted to ameliorate the outcomes of crosslinking for patients while minimising side effects and discomfort.
These include the epithelium- on method, accelerated crosslinking and repeat crosslinking.
Finally Dr Chan discussed the Crosslinking Registry being developed at Sydney’s Save Sight Institute in collaboration with CERA and with the support of Keratoconus Australia. This will be a critical tool in the evaluation of crosslinking in Australia, and benchmarking of patient outcomes.
All about corneal crosslinking
Tuesday September 10, 2013
Speaker Dr Elsie Chan, researcher Centre for Eye Research Australia
Over the past decade, corneal collagen cross-linking has become commonplace as a treatment option for people diagnosed with progressive keratoconus.
Results have shown that cross-linking slows and may even halt the progression of keratoconus, with a small risk of complications.
More recently, variations to the cross-linking procedure have been performed.
In her talk, Dr Chan reviewed the theory, different treatment regimes and the clinical results of cross-linking.
She also presented an update of the results from the Melbourne trial and other upcoming research projects.
A DVD of the presentation is now available for those unable to attend.
Eye rubbing has been identified as a high risk factor in keratoconus and should be avoided as much as possible. However as many keratoconus patients also suffer from allergies which can cause severely itchy eyes, it is important that they ensure proper management of these allergies to prevent worsening their keratoconus and to facilitate contact lens wearing.
Current research also shows an increase in the prevalence of all types of
allergic responses in the eye and dry eye continues to be a major impediment to contact lens wear. Recent advances in diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve management outcomes and early diagnosis and treatment of the signs and symptoms can help patients more comfortably wear their lenses.
In this presentation A/Prof Roth reviewed the latest thinking on allergy and dry eye diagnosis, giving particular atention to the latest treatment optionsand how they are best used.
With the springtime allergy season in full swing, this is a must-see presentation for all keratoconus patients.
Associate Professor Mark Roth is a clinical optometrist with a degree in pharmacology. He is currently in private practice and is also a Principal Fellow in the Department of Optometry & Vision Sciences, the University of Melbourne. He has extensive experience as a therapeutic practitioner and a contact lens specialist. As an advocate for therapeutic progress in optometry, he contributes to various association, registration board and government committees. A/Prof Roth lectures widely at conferences in Australia and overseas and is involved in many optometry therapeutics and contact lens teaching programmes.
Contact lenses - a challenge for optometrist and patient Tuesday
June 5, 2012
Speaker Professor Jonathan Jackson, Head of Clinical Services at the Australian College of Optometry
Despite the recent focus on new surgical treatments, contact lenses remain the mainstay for people seeking a long term solution for vision loss caused by keratoconus. Contact lenses, notably rigid gas permeable lenses (RGPs), have evolved considerably over the past decade and can assist a far wider range of patients with keratoconus than ever before.
In his presentation, Professor Jackson explained what keratoconus is and the challenge it poses for both optometrist and patient. He reviewed the symptoms and signs associated with the condition and discussed the relative importance of a range of techniques used to both detect and quantify the severity of the condition.
Professor Jackson also examined the merits of providing various types of optical correction including both spectacles and contact lenses and the need for proper aftercare. Finally, he discussed his experience in Northern Ireland working with a variety of keratoconus patients.
The presentation was followed by a Q & A session.
Professor Jackson is a renowned optometrist from Ireland who until recently, was Head of Optometry at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, Assistant Director of Integrated Care (Optometry) NI Health & Social Services Board and Policy Advisor (Optometry) at the Northern Ireland Department of Health & Social Services. He has been awarded Fellowship of the British Contact Lens Association (FBCLA, 2006) and the American Academy of Optometry (FAAOptom, 2008).
A video is now available for those unable to attend the seminar.
Corneal collagen crosslinking: the latest
evidence and trends and a family's view Tuesday 28 June 2011 Australian College of Optometry
Speakers Associate Professor Grant Snibson, Dr Christine
crosslinking (CXL) is the only treatment that provides
hope of halting progressive keratoconus. Introduced into
Australia in 2006, it is becoming the procedure of choice
for most corneal surgeons and their keratoconus patients.
Young adolescents, with often the most aggressive
form of keratoconus, are also being offered CXL today in
What evidence is
there to support this new treatment? Melbourne’s
world-leading randomized control
trial of CXL is now into its fifth year and the results remain
positive. The trial recently released data indicating that
after four years, keratoconus patients receiving CXL remain
stable or are even
improving slightly and are showing no side effects. Corneal
surgeons around Australia and overseas
are watching this trial closely to see if patients continue
to enjoy long term benefit from this
Grant Snibson and Dr Christine Wittig-Silva, principal
investigators on the crosslinking trial presented their
most recent results and discussed trends in crosslinking
here and in
other countries. These include efforts to reduce treatment
times and modify the procedure to achieve
better results in a wider range of patients.
Ben Johnson, now
22, was 18 years of age when he entered the CXL trial.
Ben and his mum Georgie Munro, spoke about their experiences
in deciding to have crosslinking done and the
effect on their iives.
All speakers answered questions from the audience.
This is a must-see seminar for anyone considering corneal
collagen crosslinking for
themselves or their children.
A DVD of the seminar is now available for
those who were unable to attend ($25 incl. GST and
postage). A free podcast of proceedings will also be made
Living with Keratoconus information seminar
& Annual General Meeting 2010
Thursday November 25, 2010 at 7 pm Amies Theatre, Australian College of Optometry,
Cnr Keppel and Cardigan Sts, Carlton VIC
Living with keratoconus is not always easy. Although glasses and contact lenses
can improve vision, studying and working for long periods on computers
and in difficult environments can be challenging. Working and studying
after a corneal transplant can be even more complicated.
an educator for sight-impaired students and KA committee member, discussed
her experience as a bilateral corneal transplant recipient and some of the
issues which face students with keratoconus and their parents, along with
strategies for dealing with them.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2010
Information about the AGM can be downloaded in pdf format from our website
at AGM 2010 or obtained
by contacting the Association.
Reports on the Association's activities were presented at the meeting.
These are now available for download in pdf format from the website or
from the Association:
. Accounts for the 2009-10 financial year.
. Annual report 2009-10 including a review of the year's activities
. Minutes of AGM 2009
keratoconus information seminar
Saturday November 6, 2010 Des O’Callaghan Auditorium, Mater Public Hospital, South Brisbane
in association with the Queensland Eye Institute held a
very successful information day on keratoconus in Brisbane on Saturday November
6, 2010 at the Des O’Callaghan
Auditorium, Mater Public Hospital, South Brisbane.
were corneal surgeon and researcher Dr Jim McAlister and
contact lens expert, John Mountford, who presented on
new contact lens and surgical options for keratoconus and current research
into treatments notably corneal collagen crosslinking.
president, Larry Kornhauser, outlined his experiences with keratoconus and
described the work done by the Association to improve life for people with
Over 100 people attended the event which included lively discussion on the
new treatment options for keratoconus like corneal collagen crosslinking
and mini-scleral contact lenses.
A podcast of the event may be made available via QEI at a later date. The
Association will inform members if this becomes available.
research, new treatments and making the right choices
Speaker - Prof Doug Coster, Flinders University September 1, 2010
Coster examined different aspects of keratoconus including current
and future research, corneal collagen crosslinking and other new treatments.
He also discussed evidence-based medecine and how patients can assess the
suitability of these treatments and when to have them.
A lively debate followed the presentation with a variety of views being
presented by patients and eye-carers about corneal collagen crosslinking
and the risks of the treatment in the absence of any long term or large
scale clinical studies regarding its safety and effectiveness
Coster is an internationally-recognized expert in keratoconus
research and treatments with over 35 years experience in Australia and
overseas. He currently holds a range of distinguished positions including
Lions Professor of Ophthalmology at Flinders University (SA), Senior Director
of Ophthalmology, Flinders Medical Centre, is editorial board member of
several international ophthalmology publications and serves on a number
of government advisory committees.
Prof Coster also
created the Australian Corneal Graft Registry which tracks the outcomes of
some 15,000 corneal transplants Australia-wide. Highly-decorated author of
over 170 papers on keratoconus, gene therapy and corneal disease, he
has a profound insight into the risk factors for keratoconus and best-practice
management of this condition.
of the seminar is now available.
Collagen Crosslinking: how safe and effective is it?
on Wednesday August 5, 2009
collagen crosslinking (CXL) is a new treatment that provides
the unprecedented hope that progression in
keratoconus can be slowed or halted. Although still experimental,
the treatment is now being offered by corneal surgeons
to keratoconus patients around Australia. But is
it safe and really effective? And if so, who can benefit
from this procedure?
world's first randomized clinical trial of CXL began in
Melbourne at the Centre for Eye ResearchAustralia
2006 and has since been extended to Brisbane. Early results
were promising. Now,
after three years, some of the answers to these questions
Grant Snibson and Dr Christine Wittig, principal
investigators on the CXL trial at CERA, presented
the most recent results from the trial and explained
what these mean for patients considering this treatment.
They also discussed plans for future research which
will hopefully extend the pool of keratoconus patients
which may be able to benefit from CXL.
speakers answered many questions from
attendees about their research and the implications of
this work for the development of treatments for keratoconus
in the future.
Brooks, Australia's first trial participant, provided
a colorful account of her personal experience leading up
to and since the treatment.
is a must-see video for anyone considering corneal
collagen crosslinking for themselves or their children.
A video of
the seminar is now available for those who were unable
to attend ($25 incl. GST and postage - DVD format only).
you would like to order a video, please email us
free audio podcast of proceedings will
also be available later.
General Meeting 2008
The association's Annual General Meeting was held at 9.30
am on 29 November 2008 at the Madame Mango Cafe at
768 Burke Rd, Camberwell.
go here for further
information about the meeting.
Recent EventsTuesday, July 29, 2008
New contact lenses for keratoconus
Lindsay, Melbourne optometrist & contact lens fitter
A patient’s story about corneal collagen
Fitzsimons, participant in the RVEEH 3C-R trial
diagnosed with keratoconus, you would like to think there
is a quick fix for the condition and associated vision
loss. Surgery immediately comes to mind. But for most
patients, the most effective solution is a lot less drastic
and has a more predictable outcome. Initially, it will
be spectacles. If the condition progresses, it will be
Contact lenses - usually
rigid gas permeable - are unquestionably the best, long-term
solution for vision loss caused by keratoconus. When
correctly fitted, they can offer long wearing times,
relatively easy maintenance and most importantly, excellent
vision. Over the past decade, contact lenses for keratoconus
have evolved dramatically and today there is a wide range
of options for keratoconic corneas, which would have
required a corneal transplant in the past.
patients (and optometrists too!) are unaware of the progress
made in the area of contact lenses for keratoconus, while
others believe that wearing contact lenses will just
be too hard.
Richard Lindsay, a
Melbourne optometrist specializing in contact lenses
for keratoconus, dispelled some of these misconceptions.
He explained why contact lenses are so effective in
managing this condition and why they should be explored
fully before considering surgical options, such as intacs
and corneal transplants.
also described the latest developments in contact
lenses for keratoconus, including soft lenses, different
rigid lens designs (small lenses, large diameter lenses,
decentred optic zones, mini-sclerals), hybrid lenses
(SynergEyes and SoftPerm) and piggyback systems (rigid
A Patient’s Story
Corneal collagen crosslinking (3C-R)
is a new surgical procedure designed to strengthen the
cornea and stop progression in keratoconus. The world's
largest clinical trial of 3C-R is taking place at Melbourne's
Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.
Ainslie Fitzsimons, is
a member of Keratoconus Australia and nurse by profession,
had both eyes crosslinked as part of the Melbourne trial.
She discussed her experience during the procedure
and recovery period for others considering this new but
still experimental surgery.
A video of the seminar is now available
for those who were unable toattend
($25 incl. GST and postage – DVD-R format). A free
podcast of proceedings is
now available here.
Wednesday 21 November 2007
Annual General Meeting 2007
Demystifying Keratoconus Seminar Corneal crosslinking, Intacs, Lamellar transplants
and other new surgery for keratoconus Dr Michael Loughnan and Dr Terry Ong
Melbourne corneal surgeons
Keratoconus Australia held its Annual General
Meeting on November 21, 2007. Members who attended
heard a report on the Association's activities in 2006-07
and a presentation of the financial accounts.Download (all files in pdf format) Annual Report 2006-07
The AGM was followed by a presentation on new
surgery for keratoconus.
In the past, surgery was considered a last-resort
keratoconus. Today, patients at different stages of keratoconus
are being offered
of options, some still experimental.
Amongst these are corneal collagen crosslinking,
Intacs and lamellar
transplantation, all of which are now becoming available
Loughnan and Dr Terry
Ong discussed the latest
developments for keratoconus, who can benefit from them,
considered by patients.
Particular emphasis was
given to their risks and
limitations.The presentation also included an overview of
of particular interest to newly diagnosed patients seeking
about their condition and its management.
Loughnan and Dr Ong are Melbourne corneal surgeons with
many years of experience in the field of keratoconus
in Australia and overseas. Both work at the corneal clinic
of Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in
and in private practice.
A video of
the seminar is now available for those who were unable
to attend ($25 incl. GST and postage - DVD-R format). A
free audio podcast of
proceedings is available on request.
STILL AVAILABLE Melbourne
Tuesday October 25,2005 The Victorian College of Optometry
Pr Doug Coster, ophthalmologist
and corneal surgeon Keratoconus: from gene to graft (if necessary)
his presentation, Prof Coster attempted to clarify the reasons
for the increase in frequency of keratoconus, looked at the
genetics of the condition, and reviewed the available treatments.
Some interventions are well established
and are proven to be effective - others are more developmental.
He outlined a decision tree for the treatment
of keratoconus based on the scientific evidence that is available.
Dr Tim Steele
Update on genetics study of families with keratoconus
Sydney Date Tuesday October 11, 2005
Venue The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of
Long demanded, Keratoconus Australia held
its firstDemystifying Keratoconus seminar in
Sydney on Tuesday October 11, 2005.
Advances in surgical and non-surgical options for
Dr Anthony Maloof, MBBS (Hons),
MBiomedE, FRANZCO, FRACS
ophthalmologist and corneal surgeon This interactive presentation covered newer approaches to surgical
intervention for keratoconus. Specifically, Deep Lamellar Keratoplasty to eliminate
endothelial rejection after transplantation, which is the most common cause
of transplant failure. Indications for surgical management were discussed.
A brief overview of the principles of surgical correction of the cornea for
Keratoconus were also presented.
Jim Kokkinakis, BOptom FAAO ISCLS
clinical optometrist Mr Kokkinakis discussed the latest advances in non-surgical options
for keratoconus patients.
A video of the seminar is now available.
if you would like to order a copy.
Wednesday May 4, 2005 at 7.15 pm
and keratoconus: Good eye days, Bad eye days Presented
by Mark Roth, clinical optometrist
Rigid contact lenses are the primary means for restoring
best vision to most people with keratoconus. Yet despite
being fitted with the best lenses possible and adhering to
good compliance practices, many contact lens wearers with
keratoconus complain of periodic contact lens discomfort
at our May 4 seminar in Melbourne, Mark Roth, clinical
optometrist, reviewed some of the reasons why patients
eye days" including common complaints related to dry
eyes, allergies and general eye redness. Mr Roth provided
a detailed analysis of the causes of these conditions. He
then outlined a range of options for their management and
ways of improving the ocular surface. Mr Roth also discussed
some of new contact lens cleaning agents which can greatly
facilitate lens care and comfort.
The seminar was attended by 65 members, their families and
optometrists who took advantage of the opportunity to ask
numerous questions about eye and contact lens care. Seminar
photos can be found here.
video of the seminar should be available by early June.
If you wear contact lenses and you weren’t able to
join us, you should watch this video. Place your order now.
Prices are $25 for VHS format or $35 for DVD-R format (includes
postage, handling and GST).
Mark Roth is a Melbourne-based clinical
optometrist in private practice. He also has a
degree in pharmacology.Mark works in a specialist contact
lens practice in the
areas of keratoconus, continuous wear lenses, paediatric
orthokeratology and therapeutic management of the problematic
Videos are available of
all previous information seminars held by the Association
at the Victorian College of Optometry.
If you missed them
or would like to find out more about a wide range of
issues relating to keratoconus, please go to our Video page.
Volunteers are needed to help organize other information
and fund raising events. Should you wish to assist with future
events, please email us