Corneal Cross-Linking

What is keratoconus?  

corneal cross link

Keratoconus, often referred to as 'KC', is an eye condition in which the cornea weakens and thins over time, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea.

Keratoconus typically first appears in individuals who are in their late teens or early twenties. Keratoconus can result in significant vision loss and may lead to corneal transplant in severe cases.

What is corneal cross-linking?

  • Corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that combines the use of Photrexa® Viscous (riboflavin 5'-phosphate in 20% dextran opthalmic solution), Photrexa® (riboflavin 5'-phosphate opthalmic solution) and KXL® system for the treatment of progressive keratoconus.
  • The safety and effectiveness of corneal cross-linking has not been established in pregnant women,  and women who are breastfeeding.

What warnings should I know about corneal cross-linking?

  • Ulcerative keratitis, a potentially serious eye infection, can occur.
  • Pain in the first 4 to 8 hours after the procedure is common. 
  • Vision may be very blurry for the first week and can take up to 6 weeks to clear entirely.

What are the side effects of corneal cross-linking?

  • The most common ocular adverse reactions in any corneal cross-linked eye were haze (corneal opacity), inflammation (punctate keratitis), fine white lines (corneal striae), disruption of surface cells(corneal epithelium defect), eye pain, reduced sharpness of vision (visual acuity) and blurred vision.

What can I expect during the procedure?

  • A number of drops are applied, the epithelium (the thin layer on the surface of the cornea) is gently removed.
  • Photrexa Viscous eye drops will be applied to the cornea for at least 30 min.
  • Depending on the thickness of your cornea, Photrexa drops may also be required.
  • The cornea is then exposed to UV light for 30 minutes while additional Photrexa Viscous drops are applied.

What can I expect after the procedure?

  • You should not rub your eyes for the first five days after the procedure.
  • You may notice a sensitivity to light and have foreign body sensation. You may also experience discomfort in the treated eye and sunglasses may help with light sensitivity.
  • If you experience severe pain in the eye or any sudden decrease in vision, you should contact your physician immediately.
  • If your bandage contact lens from the day of treatment falls out or becomes dislodged, you should not replace it and contact your physician immediately.

If you suffer from a corneal disease, please call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin Tozer or Dr. Michele Lee.

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