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Common KC Mistakes to Avoid

Originally published in NKCF Update (March 2020)

There are many misunderstandings surrounding managing keratoconus.  Many individuals with KC fall into patterns that could actually be making their condition worse, or at the very least, causing unnecessary discomfort.  Are you guilty of any of these?


The first mistake is to avoid eye rubbing.  It is a common habit, characterized by rubbing eyes with the knuckles (instead of fingertips) for extended periods.  Many people with eye allergies rub their eyes to seek some relief, however in an individual with keratoconus, it can aggravate and make the disease worse.  Talk to your doctor about medications that might provide relief from allergies if you find you are tempted to rub your itchy eyes.

Dr. Francis Price, MD of Indianapolis has been treating KC patients for more than 35 years.  He notes, “In my experience, eye rubbing is often associated with KC.  Continued eye rubbing can negate the effects of both corneal transplants and crosslinking and, importantly, it is the one thing people can change (by not rubbing) that can influence the progression of disease.”


Something that individuals with KC should do, but often put off, is visiting their eye doctor regularly.  KC is a progressive disease: your eyes need to be consistently monitored to ensure that your vision is the best it can be.  Your prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses may need to be updated to account for vision changes.  Even if you have undergone crosslinking, you need to continue to return to your eye doctor as advised.


A final tip is to take proper care of your contact lenses.  Most people with KC wear contact lenses on a daily basis, so it is important that they are following proper lens care.  Lack of care, or improper use of supplies for your lenses, can cause keratitis (inflammation of the cornea).  Keratitis is caused by germs, and these germs can invade and infect your eye when lenses are worm past their replacement date or not cleaning them properly.

Some tips for caring for your lenses properly are:

  • Wash and dry your hands before touching your contact lenses
  • Do not sleep in your contacts
  • Don’t wear contacts in the shower or while swimming
  • Rub and rinse contacts with solution each time you clean them, not with water or saliva
  • Always use fresh disinfecting solution – don’t ‘top off’ by adding new solution to old
  • Never store your contacts in water
  • Replace your contacts as often as your doctor suggests
  • Wash your case every day with solution (not water!) and leave it to dry upside down with the caps off
  • Replace your case at least every three months


Dr. Francis Price, MD is founder and president of the Cornea Research Foundation of America and Founder of Price Vision Group, a specialty ophthalmic practice located in Indianapolis.  Visit for more info.