Corneal Cross-Linking – Treatment for Keratoconus
What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a degenerative disease that affects the cornea. The cornea is the clear, domelike structure that helps focus light rays onto the back of the eye. The cornea can be described as “the front window of the eye.” Keratoconus causes the collagen bonds that help maintain the cornea’s shape and rigidity to weaken, which ultimately leads to the progressive bulging of the cornea causing an irregular or ”cone” shape. This change in shape can create visual distortions like increased nearsightedness and astigmatism. If left untreated, keratoconus may progress to the point where eyeglasses or contact lenses won’t provide useful vision, and a cornea transplant is needed. Fortunately, with advancing technology, there are new treatment methods that can help stop the progression of keratoconus and in some cases help improve vision.
Corneal Cross-linking (CXL)
Corneal Cross-linking is one of the latest advancements in treatment for people with keratoconus. Cross-linking is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a combination of riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops and UV (ultraviolet) light to help increase the bonds between the collagen fibers in the cornea. This process will strengthen the cornea in order to slow down or totally stop the progressive weakening associated with keratoconus, and allow the cornea to maintain its shape.
We perform corneal cross-linking in a specially equipped procedure room in our office. Your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops and you will be awake for the entire procedure. Patients typically experience no pain or discomfort during the procedure. You will be given several types of eye drops to use postoperatively. We typically treat one eye at a time.
In order or determine whether or not you are a candidate for this innovative new procedure, you will need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rosenfeld, our Corneal expert who specializes in this procedure. He will perform a comprehensive eye exam including advanced corneal imaging and topography. Dr. Rosenfeld was an investigator for AVEDRO and participated in the trials to help get FDA approval for this sight saving procedure . The AVEDRO cross-linking procedure is the only FDA approved procedure.
Please contact us to learn more about your treatment options with corneal cross-linking.