I have just returned from the 15th International Cornea & Contact Lens Congress which was held last weekend on the Gold Coast. This is the biggest contact lens meeting in Australia and it is put on every two years by the Cornea & Contact Lens Society of Australia.
The conference program featured both local and international speakers presenting up to date information and research in the cornea and contact lens field. I presented a lecture that discussed the use of piggyback contact lens systems for managing keratoconus and also how to obtain the best visual result for keratoconus patients who require cataract surgery.
A number of prominent corneal surgeons gave excellent talks at the meeting. One of the highlights was an outstanding lecture from Prof Stephanie Watson - who is one of Australia's leading corneal specialists - on the diagnosis and management of corneal stem cell failure. Another interesting lecture was presented by Dr Brendan Cronin from Queensland, in which he beautifully summarized the difference between the various types of corneal graft surgery. (For more information on this topic, there is the review article in the special keratoconus issue of Clinical and Experimental Optometry at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cxo.12047/abstract)
Dr Peter Beckingsale is another corneal specialist from Queensland and he presented a wonderful talk on the current status of corneal cross linking. While this procedure does seem to be successful in halting the progression of keratoconus, Peter emphasized - and I strongly agree - that due both to its investigative nature and the fact that there is surgical risk involved, progression of the keratoconus should be clearly documented before proceeding with this treatment.