research into Keratoconus
An overview of recent developments in research
into keratoconus can be found at
- News feeds to keratoconus-related articles can be found
Register for KC-link,
an interactive, worldwide forum for people with keratoconus
Cornea and Corneal Disease
What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus and treatments
US National Eye Institute
KCvision - a site dedicated to showing
others how we see things
Contact lenses and keratoconus
overview (School of Optometry, Indiana University)
of contact lenses for keratoconus
successful contact lens wear and other information about
How to clean your RGPs
of contact lens terminology
12 things you can do to improve your contact lens wear
(an article from the US NKCF newsletter)
Corneal transplants: procedure and
to have surgery?
Questions to ask your surgeon before the operation
is a corneal transplant; are there alternatives?
Eye Hospital (UK)
latest on artificial corneas
eyes, Eye rubbing and Keratoconus
- The arrival of spring means warmer weather and longer
days. But for many people with keratoconus it also heralds
the return of allergies: hayfever, asthma and
itchy eyes that can make life hell for those of us who
wear contact lenses.
Keratoconus can be aggravated by eye rubbing. So
if you suffer from itchy eyes, please see your chemist,
GP or optometrist to obtain some of the excellent eye drops
that can provide instant and long relief. If you also have
hayfever, a general an-summertihistamine tablet may be
a better alternative in spring-summer. Chronic sufferers
should see an allergist to explore ways of achieving long
term relief and control of their allergies and asthma.
For problems with dry eye, consider using a rewetting agent
on your contact lenses. Again your contact lens fitter
should be able to advise on a strategy for managing the
- If you suffer from either condition, it is vital not to
rub your eyes and to seek treatment from an experienced
keratoconus practitioner to ensure that your contact lenses
do not damage your corneas. Rubbing your eyes may
feel good, but it also encourages you to continue and risk
further progression in your keratoonus.
- Australian research on the link between eye
rubbing and keratoconus
allergy, itch, eye-rubbing and hand-dominance by
McMonnies CW, Boneham GC
Published in the November 2003 issue of Journal of Clinical
and Experimental Optometry
and other ring inserts
Intacs (and other ring inserts) are small curved plastic
inserts, which are surgically placed under the surface of
the cornea. They aim to give the cornea a more natural
dome-like shape, and thereby improve a patient's vision.
Proponents claim that intacs are best suited to
patients with mild keratoconus but who are contact lens intolerant.
Few patients actually fall into this category. Most patients
who believe they are intolerant of contact lenses are actually
suffering from incorrectly fitted lenses and need to see
an expert contact lens fitter for keratoconus
An application by the Australian distributor of INTACS for
public funding of this procedure was rejected by the minister
of health in November 2005.
Advice by the Medical Services Advisory
Committee (MSAC) indicated that there was insufficient evidence
of their long term benefit to patients or their cost effectiveness.
Details of this decision can
be found on the website of the MSAC here
In the United States, intacs corneal implants were approved
under a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) by the FDA in
July 2004, allowing them to be used for treating keratoconus.
Intacs were first designated a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD)
by the FDA's Office of Orphan Products Development in August
However this does not mean intacs have been proven to be
safe and effective. In fact, the manufacturer of intacs states
on its website that "The effectiveness of this device for
(treating keratoconus) has not been demonstrated."
Apart from the risk of infection, patients can experience
visual symptoms including difficulty with night vision, glare,
halos, blurry and fluctuating vision.
Australian corneal surgeons say that because of these sorts
of complications, most patients have their intacs removed
again within two years of insertion. Intac removal can damage
the cornea despite claims that the operation is "reversible." Contact
lens fitters for keratoconus also say that intacs can complicate
contact lens fits, making it harder to achieve optimal visual
outcomes for patients.
We note that there is little or no reliable evidence
to suggest that corneal collagen crosslinking results are
better if intacs are also inserted into the treated cornea.
Intacs are a very expensive operation and Keratoconus Australia
cautions patients about claims made about these devices.
We strongly advise anyone considering intacs to first see
a contact lens fitter who specializes in contact lenses for
keratoconus, as these are the best long term solution for
vision loss caused by keratoconus. Should you still be interested,
please seek a second opinion from a corneal surgeon for keratoconus
who has no vested interest in performing in the operation.
For more information on intacs,
by Richard Lindsay, Melbourne optometrist
website (note: this is advertising material. Please verify
all claims with your corneal surgeon)
Corneal donation in Australia
Information on the Melbourne
Lions Eye Donation Service, corneal
donation and corneal
grafts in Australia
Recipient Information and other donor resources.
A guide to eye banking in Australia can be downloaded
health system links
This page on
the Department of Health and Aging website provides links
to a number of organizations which could help you negotiate
the complexities of the Australian health system.Included
for children and students with a vision disability
The Victorian Statewide
Vision Resource Centre promotes
an understanding of the educational needs of students who
are blind or have low vision, provides professional development
to school communities and provides students with text books
in their preferred format. This site provides a range of
resources for students and educators to help deal with
The CATS Project has established a framework for good practice
that provides information and resources to assist universities
to create equitable access for students with disability and
to comply with the Disability
Discrimination Act and the
Disability Standards for Education.
Specific information about the impact of vision impairment
on education can be found here.
More links to other resources will continue to appear on
Please keep coming back, as this page will become
a key element in Keratoconus Australia's effort to assist
people with keratoconus. It will contain links to a variety
of resources for people with keratoconus and their families
- articles on recent developments in the treatment of keratoconus
- tips and advice on living with keratoconus
send us anything that might be useful for others info@Keratoconus.asn.au