Research update

In an earlier post, we outlined how University of Liverpool biomedical engineer, Dr. Ahmed Abass, had been awarded funding from Fight for Sight and Keratoconus Group UK to develop a new type of spectacle lens that can correct irregular astigmatism for keratoconus patients.

Dr. Abass has now completed the trial and plans to publish his paper later this year and has agreed to present his findings at one of our meetings. In the meantime, he has supplied us with a simplified summary. We appreciate the work Dr. Abass is doing to lessen our dependency on contact lenses. Here is the latest summary:

Although patients with keratoconus can achieve improved visual acuity with contact lenses, it is not yet commercially possible to do so with spectacles. Visual acuity using spectacles is affected by non-orthogonal (irregular) astigmatism and High Order Aberrations, causing visual effects such as doubling and ghosting images, poor contrast and increased glare. Historically, spectacles have not been able to correct these issues. This new study investigated whether correction of non-orthogonal astigmatism could improve the visual experience of keratoconic patients. There was reason to believe this could be the case, based on a previous small study: Effect of Correcting Non-Orthogonal Astigmatism in Corneas with Novel Optical System.

This is the first study of its kind to see if correcting non-orthogonal astigmatism might reduce the visual disturbances experienced by people with keratoconus, and the results are very encouraging. It was found that 70% of eyes tested with the novel test lenses showed an improvement in visual acuity with reduced ghosting and an improvement in letter clarity. 

Analysis of the results is ongoing to investigate why some subjects responded better than others, as many factors are involved. Early indications are that the cone position and the effect of high-order aberrations had a greater effect in some subjects.

This small study was designed to see if the idea had merit, and the results have been very positive. Further work now needs to be done to find ways of manufacturing such lenses and studies carried out on larger numbers of subjects.

AGM and Speaker Meeting

Notice of Annual General Meeting
Saturday 23 March at 11am

Our AGM and speaker meeting will be held at the Moorfields Education Hub 1st Floor 15 Ebenezer Street, N1 7NG (the hub is opposite the main hospital).  Cross City Road and go up Provost Street to the next corner and the Hub is facing you on the left. Doors open at 10:30, and there will be coffee and biscuits before the meeting starts.

Our guest speaker is Aneel Suri and the title of his talk is “What’s New in Medical Contact Lenses”. Aneel is Principal Contact Lens Optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and well placed to answer our questions and will be just as interested in hearing from us in a non clinical environment. We provide a complimentary sandwich lunch which is always a good opportunity to meet other members and share stories. If you are coming please let us know by emailing or ‘phoning her on 020-8993 4759 so we can cater for numbers.

Papers will be handed out on the day or can be viewed here –

Minutes of last year’s meeting
Chairman’s Report
Income and Expenditure Account

Should you have any comments or questions, please email:

Sight Village

This is a great opportunity to see the latest technology for people with sight problems and see what other help is available. Visit the Sight Village Website.

Queen Alexandra Colledge are delighted to be returning to Kensington Town Hall for a one day event on Tuesday 7th November 2023. Doors open at 10am until 5pm and as always, the event is free to visit and there will be a wide range of exhibitors in attendance. We would recommend that you pre-register your attendance by clicking this link

The full address of the venue is: 
Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX

Do stop by and say hello or help out manning the stall and chatting to visitors interested in our condition.

Contact lens tolerance

Recently a number of our members have experienced problems when supplied with new scleral contact lenses. Such was the concern that we asked members for feedback in our Spring 2022 Newsletter.

We recently hosted one of our occasional KC Coffee mornings and were fortunately joined by one of the leading optometrists in the Moorfields Contact Lens Department namely, Aneel Suri. He informed us of a new coating that can be bonded to some (but not all) hard contact lens materials. Its availability is increasing and hopefully by the year end it will be available for the majority of RGP and scleral lens materials in use in the UK.

The coating is called “Hydra-peg” and was developed by a company called Tangible Science. You may want to draw your optician’s attention to it if you are experiencing problems with lens wettability which can cause poor vision and comfort primarily in scleral lenses. It will not address any discomfort caused by ill-fitting lenses. You can read about it – here

Cornea Donation

At our November Coffee Morning, we were treated to a very thought-provoking talk from Tracy Long-Sutehall. Tracy has been very concerned by the shortage of available corneas for transplant surgery. She realised a major opportunity is being missed in hospice care due to the lack of consultation with family members.

The talk was recorded and we intend to add the video to this post as soon as it is available.

Unlike other hospital environments, patients in hospices are usually unsuitable candidates for organ donation. However, with corneas, it is a different story. In many cases, the cornea could be used to benefit someone facing the prospect of losing their sight.

Tracy has undertaken a research project to see how this situation could be rectified.

If you want to know more, you can follow the links below:

Summary of the Research
Details of the Research Project
Tracy’s Biography

Other Links:

Cornea donation myths dispelled

A personal testament from one of our members, the late Andrew MacLean

One of our members is an Ambassador for NHS Blood and Transplant and has made this video for them about his recent cornea transplant.

2022 KC Group Conference

The face to face event at Moorfields and the accompanying live stream was a great success.

You can view the conference videos – Here

Members attending online took full advantage of the facility to post questions and we have done our best to answer them with the help of the speakers. You can view all the questions and answers – Here

Do you have family members with Keratoconus?

Our research into the genetic basis of keratoconus is ongoing. We know that genetic factors determine the risk of developing keratoconus, but environmental changes (e.g., eye rubbing, allergy) can then affect the rate of progression and the severity of the keratoconus. In 2021 we published the results of the world’s first large genetic study of keratoconus, which identified 39 genetic signals that influence the risk of developing corneal change. The study involved the participation of 4669 individuals with keratoconus, the majority from Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UK, and several other centres worldwide. We want to extend these studies and advance this research to learn more about the disease. One method is to enlist the help of families with multiple members affected by keratoconus. If you have three or more close family members diagnosed with keratoconus, such as parents, brothers or sisters, or children, we would be happy to discuss your participation. Participation would involve examining the eyes to confirm the presence of keratoconus and a small blood test to analyze your DNA. We hope that knowledge of the genetic changes that increase the risk of keratoconus could provide a way to identify patients at a stage where intervention could prevent visual loss and potentially lead to more effective treatments. For more information contact Professor Stephen Tuft (

Prof. Roger John Buckley

Sadly, our president passed away on Wednesday 12th October 2022

Mr Buckley has been a keen supporter of our charity. His involvement started in the first year of our inception and his encouragement and involvement have helped us grow to where we are today.

For many years he led the corneal service at Moorfields. His surgical skills and ability to communicate with patients were second to none. Prof. Roger Buckly will be sadly missed.

You can read a fitting tribute to the much loved Honory President of our charity – Here