Keratoconus and Corneal Cross Linking
Keratoconus and Corneal Cross‑Linking
A rare condition known as corneal keratoconus occurs when the cornea, which is a dome-shaped tissue at the front of the eye, begins to thin. As this happens, it begins to bulge outwards, causing blurred vision and sensitivity to light. It can eventually lead to vision loss.
At LASIK Experts, we offer a comprehensive keratoconus management program. Our doctors have the necessary expertise to diagnose and treat patients with Keratoconus. They can help them live with the best possible vision.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
Symptoms of keratoconus often begin in the late teenage years or early twenties and progress until people are in their 30’s and early 40’s. Common symptoms include:
- Eye strain, pain, or irritation
- Halos and ghost images
- Difficulty driving at night or in low light
- Increased sensitivity to light
Although the symptoms of this condition can appear on their own, they can also be related to other eye problems. Having an eye examination is the only way to diagnose this condition.
At LASIK Experts, when you come in for a pre-operative consultation, our team of experts will determine whether you’re a good candidate for a keratoconus treatment or another vision correction procedure. Our doctors use the patient’s refraction, keratometry, corneal topography, and slit-lamp examination to screen for keratoconus. Afterward, we will help you create a plan of action for refractive surgery that best suits your needs and desired outcome.
Keratoconus Treatment and Corneal Cross-Linking
Previously, the only option for patients with keratoconus that deteriorated to the point at which glasses and contacts could no longer assist them was a corneal transplant. But this is no longer the case.
LASIK Experts offers another keratoconus treatment option: corneal cross-linking. This procedure works by stemming the progression of keratoconus by stiffening and bonding the fibers in the cornea with the use of ultraviolet light. In other words, it stabilizes and strengthens the cornea by creating new links between the fibres in the cornea.
Corneal cross-linking is an extremely beneficial process. It is the first treatment found to be effective in preventing keratoconus from getting worse. When coupled with Corneal Ring Inserts and laser shaping of the cornea, corneal cross-linking can dramatically improve vision without the need for a corneal transplant.
A two-step process
Vitamin B2 is first applied to the cornea, followed by exposure of the cornea to ultraviolet light for a short time. The light, in turn, activates molecules called free radicals, which work by welding adjacent fibers in the cornea, much like a coiled electrical wire. The procedure takes about one hour. The corneal cross-linking process is similar to the one used in the creation of modern polymers, which are used to make many household plastics. It is also similar to the bonding procedure that dentists use to attach materials to our teeth, such as those used in fillings.
Corneal Cross Linking + Topography-guided PRK
CXL alone will not improve your vision. LASIK Experts is one of the few centers in area that is able to offer the sophisticated CXL + T-PRK procedure. This dual treatment combines the benefits of CXL with an advanced laser procedure called Topography-guided PRK, hence the name CXL + T-PRK. Topography-guided PRK is an advanced technology that allows surgeons to view a highly-detailed map of the eye, providing a guide for extremely precise treatment. The addition of this laser treatment provides keratoconus patients with improved visual acuity.
Keratoconus Follow-Up Care
When you decide to book a procedure at LASIK Experts, we take care of everything – including the recovery. We will provide one-on-one counselling prior to your surgery so you know what to expect post-procedure. If necessary, we will provide you with necessary eye drops as well as instructions for application to assist in your at-home care.
We will also schedule you for a variety of post-op follow-up appointments to monitor your healing, including a 6-month post-surgery visit. In addition, our surgeons are available on-call 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.