Category Archives: Interesting Stuff

Finally… Some Good Pictures of my Cone

Well, I set out today to take a good quality picture of my cone, and managed to do it (after 20-30 tries) with my iPhone4.    It’s not easy getting the alignment right.

Alas… you now see the culprit.  A ugly, lumpy cornea with a bulge at the bottom.   If you zoom these, the cone is really obvious.

Keratoconus - Cone visible from side

Keratoconus - Cone from side

Keratoconus - Cornea Covered by Semi Scleral Lens

Semi Scleral Lens Covering Keratoconic Cornea

Keratoconus - Cone visible from side

Keratoconus - Cone from side

Keratoconus - Cornea Covered by Semi Scleral Lens

Semi Scleral Lens Covering Keratoconic Cornea - Arrows show perimeter.

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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Interesting Stuff, Pre Surgery, Surgery-Story


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Keratoconus and Eye Rubbing – Which came First?

Scott Clark on Motorcycle

Scott out making his eyes itch, among other things.

The idea that Keratoconus is caused by eye rubbing has been around a while.  I’ve talked with 5-6 corneal surgeons and they’ve had differing opinions on it.   There was consensus that one should be more safe than sorry and advise kids to avoid hard eye rubbing – and to treat the underlying condition.   My daughter’s itchy eyes are treated with Patenol, and I advise my kids to avoid doing it.  I asked them to report it to me when they have itchy eyes and I guaranteed to help them get rid of the symptom.  When I was a kid, I rode motorcycles a lot.  In the dust, dirt, mud, fields of corn, fields of grain, fields of dreams.  But I don’t recall rubbing my eye that much.. but why would I?

“For example, a case control study of 120 subjects with KC involved assessment of potential risk factors, including atopy, family history, eye rubbing, and contact lens wear. In the univariate analysis, there were associations between KC and atopy, family history, and eye rubbing. However, in the multivariate analysis, only eye rubbing was still a significant predictor of KC.” – Charles W. McMonnies, M.Sc., University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia  (see more)

Here are some other articles/citations on the issue:

This quote from one physicians’ advice puts it in plain English:

Keratoconus has been associated with eye rubbing and eye allergies. Don’t rub your eyes!!! It is believed that eye rubbing can help to distort and thin the corneal surface. To help you with not rubbing your eyes you can use eye drops that lessen the symptoms of eye allergies. Some of these are available over the counter and some need to be prescribed. A good over the counter anti-histamine eye drop is “Zaditor”. Cool compresses help. There is also some evidence that using cooled tea bags and even cucumber slices help to calm the symptoms of eye itching.  – Dr. Jon Vogel

I may extend the list of links above if I find anymore.

Tomorrow:  My pre-surgery physical.


Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Diary Entries, Interesting Stuff


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How to Reconcile DALK/PK Success Statistics with Anecdotal Internet Stories?

If you review the literature of DALK/PK, you’ll find that they have an incredibly high success rate.

But if you go online, such as Facebook or blogs, you see many who have problems.  How can this  be reconciled?

Here are some reasons, as I discussed with my Doctor.

  • Most people who have had the procedures just move on with their lives – they never bother to write or talk about it.
  • Many people searching for things online use negative searches.. such as “corneal transplant complications”… search engines are very good at delivering just what you want, so the list of search results presented will focus on negative stories.
  • I am not a psychologist, but it’s my opinion that many of these folks are needing to reach out and find sympathy for their problems.  I’m not saying this is wrong – and I would like it if everyone had a support network – but with Keratoconus, the online world is the only network of sufficient size that you’ll find others who understand what you’re going through.
  • Some Keratoconus patients (especially young males!) are non-compliant – they skip their drops, ignore doctor recommendations, etc.   This boggles my mind, but everyone has their own life situation to deal with.  But they also skew down statistics since their outcomes are also included in surveys with equal weight as complaint patients.

I’m still 29 days away from my surgery – and it could go terribly.  If so, I will post it here.   But if it goes well, I will post it also, hopefully adding a bit of balance.

By way of the diary – I have had a few very good days with the scleral lens – but winter dryness still hurts.   I went to see my dentist to see if I needed root canal on a troublesome tooth before the surgery.  Lucky for me, he said no.  I don’t really want multiple issues going on.

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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Interesting Stuff, Surgery-Story



Dealing with Keratoconus in 1866

Check this out, from Harper’s Magazine, 1866

Antique cornea flattener

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Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Interesting Stuff

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