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Keratoconus Treatment

All the support you need for your Keratoconus Treatment

Dr Geoffrey Ryan is a highly experienced eye surgeon with advanced training and experience across a variety of eye conditions and their treatments and Keratoconus is no different. You’ll feel well-supported in your treatment journey, with simplified explanations and care from Dr Ryan.

Close-up of a smiling female making the OK sign with her hands around her eye.
Close up of an eye with Keratoconus

Are you struggling with Keratoconus?

Keratoconus most commonly appears in young patients who report blurred vision or constantly changing prescriptions for their glasses. There is an increased prevalence among people who suffer from asthma, eczema and allergies such as hayfever. Many will also report a history of eye rubbing. Regardless of the cause, we know it can be frustrating.

The Corneal Cross-linking Procedure

Dr Ryan is a corneal specialist who has a special interest in the treatment of Keratoconus. Corneal Cross-Linking is a modern procedure that combines riboflavin, oxygen and UV light to strengthen the collagen of the cornea.

Dr Ryan performs the “Boost Protocol” form of the procedure. It’s the very latest form of cross-linking. It offers you the advantage of avoiding the removal of the top layer (epithelium) of the cornea as the treatment is performed. This results in less pain and decreases the risk of infection which can often come with older cross-linking protocols.

eye being held open for surgery

We use world-leading equipment

Consulting and treating eye conditions such as keratoconus from the Queensland Eye Institute, we’re fortunate to have access to the very best equipment for diagnosis and treatment. You’ll feel like you’re in safe hands with the quality of the clinic and its equipment.

Why trust Dr Ryan with your Keratoconus Surgery?

Advanced training Keratoconus treatment

Dr Ryan is an expert in Keratoconus and has advanced training in the treatment of this condition, including Corneal Cross-Linking.

The latest treatment options

The Queensland Eye Institute and Dr Ryan prioritise advancement in this area. We offer the latest in treatment options including “Boost Protocol” Corneal Cross-Linking.

A focus on less invasive treatments through disease prevention

Your quality of life, comfort, and future prognosis are important to us. We have a focus on preventing disease progression, which results in less invasive treatments.

State of the art equipment

Consulting and treating keratoconus out of the Queensland Eye Institute, we have state of the art diagnostic and treatment technology available to us.

You’ll understand your procedure

Dr Ryan will always take the time to explain your procedure to you in plain language so you can understand what your condition means and what will happen during your procedure.

Important things to know

Don’t worry — you don’t have to remember all of this. You will be provided with a detailed handout with all the aftercare information following your surgery.

You’ll be educated on the key steps of preventing disease progression by Dr Ryan

If you are undergoing Corneal Cross-Linking Treatment, you’ll need to take three days off from work or study to recover.

A contact lens is placed on the eye for your comfort following the procedure. This is removed in the clinic a few days following your treatment.

What other treatments are available for Keratoconus?

Contact Lenses for the treatment of Keratoconus

Soft contact lenses are made of a flexible, water-containing material that conforms to the shape of the cornea. While they may be comfortable and easy to wear for many people, they are generally not recommended for patients with keratoconus. This is because the shape of the cornea in keratoconus is irregular and often too steep to be corrected with soft contact lenses. Soft lenses can conform to the shape of the cornea, but they can also conform to the irregularities, resulting in poor visual clarity and discomfort.

In contrast, rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses and scleral lenses are designed to provide a more uniform surface for the cornea, allowing light to focus properly on the retina and improving visual clarity. These lenses are made of a firm material that holds its shape and can help to correct the irregular shape of the cornea in keratoconus. Therefore, for patients with keratoconus, special types of contact lenses such as RGP or scleral lenses are recommended.

Corneal Transplant for the treatment of Keratoconus

In some severe cases of keratoconus, a corneal transplant may be the recommended treatment option. A corneal transplant involves replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy cornea from a donor. Typically, corneal transplants are successful in restoring vision and can drastically improve the quality of life for patients who have advanced keratoconus.

Like any surgery, though, this procedure does come with some risks. It is worth discussing your condition, its severity, and the potential treatment options with your surgeon. Recovery time for a corneal transplant can be lengthy, with follow-up appointments for the following months and special care required to ensure healing. 

What’s the difference between a corneal transplant and a corneal collagen cross-linking procedure?

A corneal transplant, also referred to as keratoplasty, involves removing the damaged cornea and replacing it with a healthy donor cornea. This surgical procedure is typically recommended for advanced cases of keratoconus or when other treatments have not successfully improved the patient’s vision.

On the other hand, corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is a non-surgical procedure that involves applying riboflavin drops to the cornea and then exposing it to ultraviolet light. This strengthens the collagen fibres in the cornea, which helps stabilise the cornea and prevent any further thinning and bulging. 

CXL is typically recommended for early to moderate cases of keratoconus and can be effective for slowing or stopping the progression of the condition. Recovery from CXL is generally quicker than a corneal transplant, and most patients are able to return to normal activities in just a few days.

It’s important to note that while both procedures can be effective treatments for keratoconus, they are not interchangeable and are typically recommended for different stages of the condition.

Our Keratoconus FAQs

Keratoconus is a progressive condition, characterised by the thinning and bulging of the cornea (the front window of the eye), into the shape of a cone. The condition’s onset typically starts in early adolescence and progresses into the mid-20s and 30s.

We do not know what causes keratoconus. The condition may be inherited and is seen more often in people who are atopic (prone to allergies such as asthma or eczema). There may also be a link between people who vigorously rub their eyes and keratoconus.

In the early stages of keratoconus, a majority of patients will note a constantly changing glasses prescription. This is due to the progressive change in the shape of your cornea. Contact lenses will be required rather than glasses once the shape of the cornea becomes irregular. In advanced cases, the cornea may develop scarring, resulting in a significant reduction in vision.   

In the early stages, some patients will simply need glasses to see well, but many patients eventually require contact lenses to achieve better vision. The contact lenses are usually small, hard lenses (rigid gas permeable lenses). Contact lenses do not make keratoconus better or worse, they just improve your vision when you wear them. 


In advanced cases, where contact lenses fail to improve vision, a corneal transplant – or a ‘graft” – may be needed. Most patients with keratoconus will not need a corneal transplant.


“Boost Protocol” Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL) is a new treatment that halts the progression of the disease. It is only required in patients who demonstrate ongoing changes in the shape of the cornea. It uses ultraviolet light and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) drops to stiffen and strengthen the cornea. This procedure is effective in over 90% of patients.

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Book your appointment below or call our eye centre to schedule your consultation. Our friendly team is happy to answer any questions you may have.