An incredible new treatment is now available at Eye Institute – corneal collagen cross-linking may stop keratoconus altogether.
Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) develops a conical shape, causing your vision to blur. There are a number of treatments available, including glasses, contacts, corneal implants and corneal transplants, depending on the stage and severity of your condition.
However, an innovative and highly effective new treatment for keratoconus is now available at Eye Institute. This treatment, called corneal collagen cross-linking, may be able to stop your vision from worsening, and has even been shown to improve vision in some people.
The full name of the procedure is actually corneal collagen cross-linking with riboflavin, also called C3R or CXL for short. It is used to strengthen the cornea in people with keratoconus . In doing so, corneal collagen cross-linking can stop keratoconus from worsening. It can also help flatten the central cornea in about 50% of patients, who often experience better vision as a result.
The procedure is relatively simple, highly effective and completely painless. It’s also very safe, and any complications are extremely unlikely.
Corneal collagen cross-linking procedure:
- Before the procedure, you’ll be given a local anaesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain
- Your surgeon will carefully and painlessly remove the surface of your cornea, and riboflavin (Vitamin B2) drops will be applied to your eye for 30 minutes.
- Then, a measured dosage of UV light is applied to your cornea for a further 30 minutes. Together with the riboflavin, the UV light encourages bonds between collagen fibrils to form, strengthening your cornea.
- After the treatment, a contact lens will be placed on your eye to help with healing and make your eye more comfortable. You’ll need to keep this in place for a few days, and you’ll also be given eye drops to use. Any discomfort during healing is usually mild, and should only last the first few days.
Alternative treatments for keratoconus
Corneal collagen cross-linking is an exciting new development in keratoconus treatment that could potentially save your sight, especially if you are treated early on. Even those who are treated later on may find that it halts the development of their condition, preventing the need for a corneal transplant.
However, every patient is different, and your ophthalmologist will always recommend the appropriate keratoconus treatment for you. This could include glasses, contacts, corneal implants or corneal transplant surgery.
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We are affiliated with Southern Cross. Check your treatment plan as it may cover some procedures.