Corneal Collagen Cross-linking

What is Kerataconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive, degenerative disease of the cornea. In keratoconus, the cornea is abnormally thin causing ectasia - or - "bulging". 

Why Should I get CXL?

It is a non-invasive treatment which stops the progression on the disease.

CXL can prevent further vision loss, in contrast to other treatments such as INTACS and contacts lenses or glasses. It can aid in fitting of contact lenses and glasses. Most importantly, it can delay and/or avoid the need for corneal transplant.

How does it work?

Riboflavin drops are applied to the cornea followed by application of UV light. This “activates” the riboflavin.The activated riboflavin causes collagen in the cornea to thicken, stiffen and attach to one another, creating new bonds. The new bonds increase the rigidity of the cornea, strengthening it and flattening the cone shape.

How is CXL performed?

It is a painless procedure performed using a topical anesthetic (numbing eye drops). 

The epithelium – the outermost layer of the cornea – is gently removed to enhance absorption of the riboflavin eye drops (don’t worry, the epithelium grows back!). Riboflavin drops are administered to the eye over several minutes followed by UV light for a period of 15 – 30 minutes. A bandage contact lens is placed over the eye to aid in healing. 

Will I still need to wear my glasses or contact lenses?

Yes. CXL does not necessarily improve vision, although some patients may experience better vision after the procedure. Most patients will require additional treatments such as INTACTS, contact lenses and/or glasses to achieve further vision correction. 

Am I a candidate?

Patients with keratoconus or other forms of ectasia may qualify. Ectasia can also develop after LASIK, PRK or RK that causes the cornea to weaken similarly to keratoconus CXL is not suitable for everyone with keratoconus or ectasia.

Depending on the severity and rate of progression, you may or may not be a candidate for treatment. To find out if CXL is right for you, or if you would like more information, please contact the office of Dr. Maayan Keshet.

Treated cornea (above) is stiffer and maintains its shape
Untreated cornea (bottom) is 'floppier' and sags. 

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