Collagen cross-linking treatment is not a cure for keratoconus, rather, it aims to slow or even halt the progression of the condition. This treatment changes the intrinsic biomechanical properties of the cornea and has been shown to strengthen the cornea by around 300%. While the procedure is comparatively recent, research to date indicates that it is very effective in both slowing disease progression and improving vision. The main aim of this treatment is to arrest the progression of keratoconus, and thereby prevent further deterioration in vision and the need for corneal transplantation.
Our ideal candidates are in the younger age spectrum — up through their 50s. The FDA has approved the procedure for people ages 14 to 65.
You may not be able to have cross-linking treatment if your cornea is too scarred or too thin, or if you have an active infection or a problem with the surface of your eye, such as severe dry eye.
How does cross-linking arrest keratoconus?
Until recently, there was no method to change the integrity and strength of the cornea itself for keratoconus patients. The non-invasive treatment of corneal collagen cross-linking riboflavin has been proven to strengthen the weak corneal structure in keratoconus. This method works by increasing collagen cross-linking, which are the natural anchors within the cornea. These anchors are responsible for preventing the cornea from bulging out and becoming steep and irregular (which is the cause of keratoconus).
What are the benefits of cross-linking?
- Simple, one-hour treatment
- Performed in our technologically advanced private surgical center, no need for admission
- Targets the root of the problem. Stops the progress and causes regression of disease
- Does not need eye donation as in corneal transplant
- No major precautions
- No injections or stitches
- No incisions as in Intacs or Corneal ring segments
- Quick recovery with short follow up