Summer 2012 iNews

Video Now Available

Allergies, Dry Eye and Contact Lenses
Speaker Associate Professor Mark Roth
Held on Tuesday August 28, 2012

Although the spring-summer hayfever season is now well underway, it is not too late to start a hayfever management program to control those itchy eyes.

The video of Associate Professor Mark Roth's excellent presentation on how keratoconus patients can best manage allergies and dry eye to facilitate long wearing of contact lenses is now available in DVD format. It can be obtained from the Association by emailing us your details. The DVD costs $25 including GST and postage.

This is an important seminar for all keratoconus patients with allergies and itchy eyes as eye rubbing has been identified as a high risk factor in keratoconus and should be avoided as much as possible.

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 his presentation A/P Roth reviewed the latest thinking on allergy and dry eye diagnosis, and provided detailed explanations of the latest treatment options.

With the spring-summer 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.

Please email us now to buy this DVD or ring on 0409 644 811.


The DVD of Professor Jonathan Jackson's presentation on Contact Lenses: a Challenge for Optometrist and Patient is still available from the Association. To order, please contact Mary Veal on 0409 644 811 or by email.

These videos are available for $25 each in DVD format. Prices include GST and postage. Special rates are available for multiple purchases. Email us for more information.

Payment can be made by electronic transfer/direct debit to
Keratoconus Australia Inc.
Westpac account details BSB: 033089 Account Number: 259107 (please email us to inform us of the payment and say which video you would like).

Or just send a cheque or money order to
Keratoconus Australia Inc
PO Box 1109
Hawksburn VIC 3142



Annual General Meeting 2012

Keratoconus Australia Inc will hold its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6 pm at Suite 1302 Level 13, 9 Yarra St, South Yarra VIC 3141.


Adoption of minutes of the AGM 2011
Committee reports on the Association's activities in 2011-12
Financial accounts for the year ending June 30, 2012
Election of officebearers
Other business

Reports on the Association's activities and its financial accounts will be presented at the meeting. These will soon be available for download in pdf format from the website or from the Association.

AGM Reports and Minutes
Minutes of the AGM 2011
Annual report on the Association's activities in 2011-12
Financial accounts for the year ending June 30, 2012

Proxy voting form for members unable to attend the AGM. Please fill this out and return by November 26, 2012.

The AGM will be followed by light refreshments


Volunteers required urgently

The Association urgently requires highly skilled volunteers who are self-motivated to assist with a variety of tasks. If you want to help, please understand we need people able to initiate, follow up and complete tasks as we are unable to provide advice and supervision in these specialist areas. These include:

  • design, content development and maintenance
Social media
  • formulate policy guidelines for Facebook and Twitter and other platforms
  • provide and monitor content and postings
  • experience in writing submissions to government and other representative organisations
  • understanding of the Medicare system
  • ability to initiate, understand and evaluate research projects and ethics protocols in the health and medical field
  • coordinate with research teams
  • experience in writing submissions
  • ability to develop and implement a fundraising strategy
  • event management
  • ability to develop budgets and forecasts of funding requirements
  • manage research budgets
  • assist in the design and preparation of templates for invitations, newsletters, brochures and other printed and electronic material for distribution

The Association will be winding down its activities over the summer by early December. However, you can email us over the holiday period if you would be interested in contributing in 2013 in any of the above areas.



One of our key objectives is to provide support for people with keratoconus and their families. If you have just been diagnosed with keratoconus, or are having trouble with your contact lenses or are considering surgery, perhaps we can assist you. We have information on a wide range of treatments and can put you in touch with others who have had similar experiences. Depending on where you live, we may be able to help you to find keratoconus specialists in your area or to advise you on how to access government travel grants to assist you in travelling to see a specialist.

Please feel free to contact us with any queries or concerns.



Members in Sydney, the Gold Coast-Brisbane area, and Adelaide are trying to set up groups locally. Please contact the Association if you are interested in joining a group in one of these areas. As discussed in the past, Keratoconus Australia operates from Melbourne and is unable to maintain support groups around the country without assistance from local members.

If you are interested in coordinating a group in your own local area, please contact Jennifer Toom by email.



Vision 2020 Australia

Keratoconus Australia joined with other members of Vision 2020 Australia's Low Vision and Rehabilitation Committee in sending a submission to the Federal Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, in response to the proposed definitions of eligibility and reasonable and necessary support under a National Disability Insurance Scheme. The response was developed by Vision 2020's NDIS Eligibility Working Group. The submission was accompanied by a media release which was disseminated to coincide with White Cane Day on Monday 15 October.

(For the record, this submission was coordinated by our own Belinda Cerritelli, who is now National Advocacy Adviser at Vision 2020.)

Australian Childhood Vision Impairment Register

The Australian Childhood Vision Impairment Register has asked the Association to publicise their website and register. Below is an article about the register submitted by Sue Silveira, Research Fellow at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.

The Australian Childhood Vision Impairment Register is sponsored by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, in partnership with families, health professionals and low vision agencies. The Register is the first of its kind in Australia, and collects data on Australian children aged 0-18 years, with vision impairment in both eyes which has been diagnosed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist).

This data is used to improve services for children and by researchers who work in the area of eye disease and disorders of vision. Families are invited to register their children and can access our website to begin the registration process at: www.vifamilynetwork.org.au. If families don’t have access to the internet they can call Register staff (ph: 02 9872 0303) who will mail materials to join.

This website also gives access to low vision events, useful resources and the latest report which outlines the findings from the Register. Registered families can join an online parent forum where they can meet, chat, and share ideas and experiences with other families.

If you have a child with vision impairment we hope that you will consider joining this important Australian Register.

Sue Silveira, Research Fellow
Renwick Centre, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children

(Keratoconus Australia has no link to this organisation and is publishing this article as an information service only. We note that the Register currently has a very low number of keratoconus patients registered with it.)




Help the Association by making a tax deductible donation now.

Donations can be made easily via online banking. Our details are:

Account name: Keratoconus Australia Inc.
Westpac account details BSB: 033089
Account Number: 259107

(please include your name in the transfer payment and email your contact details to us so we can send a receipt for tax purposes).

Otherwise you can send a cheque to us at
Keratoconus Australia
PO Box 1109
Hawksburn VIC 3142

The association has DGR status and all donations made to Keratoconus Australia of $2 and over are fully tax deductible.



Leading Australian eye specialists have published a book aimed at explaining all aspects of keratoconus and its treatments to patients and their families.

The authors - Dr Michael Loughnan, Dr Jim Kokkinakis, Richard Lindsay, and Prof Gerard Sutton - all have extensive experience in treating patients with keratoconus. Their book is a welcome contribution to the understanding of this little known disease which causes significant vision loss to thousands of young Australians every year.

Users manual for people with keratoconus: from glasses to corneal grafts and everything in between is available online from Wilkinson Publishing, select bookstores or from the authors' practices. RRP $19.95.



Members planning a visit to the University of Melbourne's (UM) new keratoconus teaching clinic, should note that it will be closed to new patients over the holiday period. The keratoconus clinic will reopen in February 2013.

The keratoconus clinic, located at the University's newly expanded Melbourne Eyecare (MEC) practice in Swanston St, Carlton, has been providing a complete range of contact lenses for keratoconus at unbeatable prices.

However existing patients can have lenses adjusted or replaced throughout that period - apart from the week between Christmas and New Year, when MEC will be closed.

Keratoconus Australia members are eligible for a 50% discount off normal prices for all contact lenses fitted at the teaching clinics. This discount has been negotiated by KA with the UM and is usually available only to UM teaching staff and their families.

KA members requiring contact lenses for keratoconus can contact the UME practice on 03 9349 1714 or email to make an appointment.

The UM Eyecare practice is located on the corner of Faraday and Swanston Sts Carlton, immediately opposite the tram terminus at University Gate 3 (pedestrian entrance) and some 100m up Swanston St, beyond the Dental Hospital.



US Keratoconus Foundation has updated its web site

Barmaid's eyeball explodes twice

(*registration may be required to view some sites)



The Association will be closing down from December 13, 2012 to February 4, 2013. We will be providing a skeleton support service by email. However if you have any concerns about your keratoconus, your contact lenses or surgery, you must contact your eye carer (optometrist or corneal surgeon) immediately - not the Association.

Enjoy the break and take some time to relax with family and friends.

Also consider if you are satisfied with your vision and keratoconus management plan. If not, arrange to see your eye carer in 2013 for a review to explain your concerns. There have been many advances in treatments for keratoconus over the past 5 years including better contact lenses, corneal crosslinking and even refinements in corneal grafting techniques. Everyone wearing hard contact lenses should have at least an annual review of their keratoconus.

We wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday period.