Corneal Cross linking
Corneal Collagen Crosslinking with Riboflavin (CXL) is a developing keratoconus treatment.
CXL works by increasing collagen crosslinks which are the natural “anchors” within the cornea. These anchors are responsible for preventing the cornea from bulging out and becoming steep and irregular.
Corneal Crosslinking System
During the corneal crosslinking treatment, custom-made riboflavin drops saturate the cornea, which is then activated by ultraviolet light. This process has been shown in laboratory and clinical studies to increase the amount of collagen cross-linking in the cornea and strengthen the cornea.
Collagen crosslinking is not a cure for keratoconus. The aim of this treatment is to arrest progression of keratoconus, and thereby prevent further deterioration in vision and the need for corneal transplantation. Glasses or contact lenses will still be needed following the cross-linking treatment (although a change in the prescription may be required) but it is hoped that it could limit further deterioration of vision. It has been estimated that a patient with Keratococnus will spend and average of over $19,000 in a lifetime upon diagnosis. With crosslinking treatment the goal is to hault the progression of corneal thinning. This way you are minimizing the risk for a potential corneal transplant.
Intacs – Treatment for Keratoconus
Inctacs is an FDA approved surgical procedure for keratoconus. They are thin plastic, semi-circular rings inserted into the mid layer of the cornea. When inserted in the keratoconus cornea they flatten the cornea, changing the shape and location of the cone. The placement of Intacs remodels and reinforces the cornea, eliminating some or all of the irregularities caused by keratoconus in order to provide improved vision. This can improve uncorrected vision, however, depending on the severity of the KC, glasses or contact lenses may still be needed for functional vision.