Corneal cross-linking is a minimally-invasive procedure performed to treat a weakened or deformed cornea. Corneal thinning affects how light enters the eye, resulting in blurred and distorted vision. This procedure helps strengthen the collagen tissue in the cornea and prevents future weakening by using UV radiation and riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops.
What is the cornea?
The cornea is a clear, spherical dome located at the front of the eye. It helps you see by focusing the light that enters your eye.
Am I a suitable candidate for this procedure?
Corneal cross-linking may be right for you if you are suffering from a degenerative disorder, such as keratoconus or ectasia, in which the cornea thins and bulges outward, forming a cone rather than a dome shape. Patients with severe keratoconus or ectasia have reduced vision that may not be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses and may need corneal cross-linking surgery.
What are the symptoms of keratoconus or ectasia?
Common symptoms of keratoconus or ectasia include:
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Headaches or eye irritation
- Excessive rubbing of the eyes
What to expect before corneal cross-linking?
During your consultation, our ophthalmologist will examine your eyesight and measure the thickness of your cornea. They will determine the severity of your degenerative disorder to ensure you are a suitable candidate for the corneal cross-linking procedure.
What happens during the procedure?
The ophthalmologist will start by administering numbing anesthetic drops in your eyes before carefully removing a section of your cornea’s thin, outer layer. Then they will repeatedly apply vitamin B drops (riboflavin) to your eye for around 30 minutes. While putting drops in your eye, they will use a special device to shine a focused beam of UV light rays at your cornea for 30 minutes.
Vitamin drops and UV light work together to activate the riboflavin and help with the formation of new links between your cornea’s collagen strands. This procedure will strengthen collagen links in the cornea, making it firmer and less likely to bulge out. Once finished, the ophthalmologist will put a bandage contact lens on the treated eye, which should be left in place for a week to help with the corneal healing.
What to expect after corneal cross-linking?
The opthalmologist will remove the bandage contact lens once the epithelium has healed, which should take only a few days. You may experience light sensitivity or blurry vision following the procedure, and your vision will remain unstable for several months, which is normal. Most patients can return home the same day and resume their activities within 1 to 2 weeks.
To help your eye heal faster, you will be prescribed pain medication and eye drops. It is crucial not to touch your eyes or get water in them for the first week while your eye heals. Undergoing corneal cross-linking will prevent your condition from worsening and save you from needing more serious surgery, such as a corneal transplant.
Schedule your appointment at Novomed today!
If you believe you are the right candidate for corneal cross-linking, make an appointment with our experienced ophthalmologist to learn more about your condition and treatment options.
Book your consultation today by calling toll-free 8006686 or clicking the live chat icon at the bottom of the screen.