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Keratoconus in the U.S. was classically a “wait and see” corneal disease.

Though improvements in vision could be obtained, traditionally with rigid gas permeable lenses, we as practitioners could do nothing to intervene and stop the progressive nature of the disease.

On a yearly basis, we would monitor our patients with keratoconus and watch keratoconic changes hoping “this will be the year we will see stability and the end of the progressive lifecycle”. We watched these keratoconic corneas progressively thin, steepen and scar as our patient’s vision, and more importantly, quality of life deteriorated.

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John Gelles
Dr. Gelles is the director of the specialty contact lens division at the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute-Hersh Vision Group and the CLEI Center for Keratoconus in Teaneck, New Jersey. Dr. Gelles’ clinical work is dedicated exclusively to specialty contact lenses and surgical co-management with focus on corneal disease (emphasis in keratoconus), ocular surface disease, and post-surgical corneal conditions. Dr. Gelles is also the Chief Emerging Technology Officer at EyeCareLive, where his work involves identifying and developing technologies to be incorporated into the companies eyecare specific telemedicine platforms, which are purpose-built by eyecare professionals for eyecare professionals to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and improve clinical outcomes. He is a Fellow in the International Academy of Orthokeratology, a Fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America, and a Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and is an adjunct clinical instructor for State University of New York College of Optometry and New England College of Optometry. Additionally, he is an optometric consultant, active in clinical research, and is involved in multiple academies, societies, and associations.

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