About 10 years ago, Tom Tsokas had to stop driving. He was diagnosed with keratoconus in his right eye during high school, and by his late 40s, it had suddenly gotten worse.
"It was like a curtain in front of my eye," says Tom, 56, a Stouffville, Ont., resident who works as an attendant at Toronto General Hospital. "I didn't have pain, but if I was reading a book I had to hold it really close to my face."
Keratoconus is a disease characterized by thinning and protrusion of the cornea, causing an irregular, conical shape and leading to blurred vision. Approximately 50 to 200 out of every 100,000 people develop keratoconus. One possible cause is a decrease in protective antioxidants in the cornea.
Enter Dr. Allan Slomovic, clinician investigator at the Krembil Research Institute and an ophthalmologist specializing in corneal surgery at the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute. With more than three decades of study and experience, the former clinical psychologist focused on the cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye where surgery results in the highest rates of success, he says.
Since completing two prestigious fellowships at Miami's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Dr. Slomovic has conducted research into conditions and procedures ranging from penetrating keratoplasty and corneal sensitivity to corneal transplantation and the effects of eye rubbing.
The Krembil Research Institute and the Globe and Mail have teamed up for a special content project designed to highlight the tremendous accomplishments of our scientists and research programs at Krembil. The first of three magazines in this series looked at the brain and spine program and was released in the spring. A second magazine highlighting the vision program is now available online and a the third in the series will explore the arthritis program later this year.