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    Annual General Meeting

    Wednesday November 23, 2016




  • Crosslinking update
    25 August 2015

    Australian College of Optometry
    Amies Theatre
    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.


Previous events


Past events

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.


Allergies, Dry Eye and Contact Lenses
Tuesday August 28, 2012

Speaker Associate Professor Mark Roth, senior Melbourne optometrist

DVD now available

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.

rothIn 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 Wittig-Silva

Corneal collagen 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 increasing numbers.

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

Associate Professor 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 available later.


Past events

Melbourne: Living with Keratoconus information seminar
& Annual General Meeting 2010

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.

Heidi Littleford, 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.

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

update on CXL 09 Brisbane keratoconus information seminar
November 6, 2010
Des O’Callaghan Auditorium, Mater Public Hospital, South Brisbane

Keratoconus Australia, 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.

Keynote speakers 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.

Keratoconus Australia president, Larry Kornhauser, outlined his experiences with keratoconus and described the work done by the Association to improve life for people with keratoconus.

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.

update on CXL 09 Seminar

Keratoconus: research, new treatments and making the right choices

Keynote Speaker - Prof Doug Coster, Flinders University
September 1, 2010


Professor 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

Prof Doug 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.

A video of the seminar is now available.


Previous events

update on CXL 09 Corneal Collagen Crosslinking: how safe and effective is it?

Held on Wednesday August 5, 2009
snibson & wittigj brooks

Corneal 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?

The world's first randomized clinical trial of CXL began in Melbourne at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) in 2006 and has since been extended to Brisbane. Early results were promising. Now, after three years, some of the answers to these questions are emerging.

Associate Professor 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.

Both 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.

Joanne Brooks, Australia's first trial participant, provided a colorful account of her personal experience leading up to and since the treatment.

This 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).

If you would like to order a video, please email us now.

A free audio podcast of proceedings will also be available later.



AGM 2005Annual General Meeting 2008

AGM 2005 2007-08
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.

Please go here for further information about the meeting.


upcoming events Recent Events Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New contact lenses for keratoconus Richard Lindsay, Melbourne optometrist & contact lens fitter


A patient’s story about corneal collagen crosslinking Ainslie Fitzsimons, participant in the RVEEH 3C-R trial


Ainslie Fitzsimons Richard Lindsay


Video Now Available


When 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.  


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.  


Many 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.  


Richard 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 on soft).  


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 to   attend ($25 incl. GST and postage – DVD-R format). A free podcast of proceedings is now available here.


upcoming eventsWednesday 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

Financial report 2007


The AGM was followed by a presentation on new surgery for keratoconus. ong_loughnan

In the past, surgery was considered a last-resort option for keratoconus. Today, patients at different stages of keratoconus are being offered a range of options, some still experimental.

Amongst these are corneal collagen crosslinking, Intacs and lamellar corneal transplantation, all of which are now becoming available in Australia.Dr

Michael Loughnan and Dr Terry Ong discussed the latest surgical developments for keratoconus, who can benefit from them, when they should be considered by patients.

Particular emphasis was given to their risks and limitations.The presentation also included an overview of keratoconus, which will be of particular interest to newly diagnosed patients seeking more information about their condition and its management.

Dr 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 Melbourne 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.






Tuesday October 25, 2005
The Victorian College of Optometry


Pr Doug Coster, ophthalmologist and corneal surgeon
Keratoconus: from gene to graft (if necessary)

In 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

Date Tuesday October 11, 2005

The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmology

Long demanded, Keratoconus Australia held its first Demystifying Keratoconus seminar in Sydney on Tuesday October 11, 2005.

Advances in surgical and non-surgical options for keratoconus



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. Email us if you would like to order a copy.


Wednesday May 4, 2005 at 7.15 pm

Contact lenses 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 or intolerance.

Speaking at our May 4 seminar in Melbourne, Mark Roth, clinical optometrist, reviewed some of the reasons why patients have "bad 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.

A 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 contact lenses, orthokeratology and therapeutic management of the problematic contact lens wearer.

Previous events

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

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