Corneal Collagen Crosslinking Procedure & Treatment
While across many blogs and eye care news websites, the latest advancement in keratoconus treatments often mentions corneal collagen cross-linking. While countless patients have gone through this procedure with an ophthalmologist, a patient recently diagnosed with keratoconus ought to consider the various alternative ways to treat keratoconus. A clear understanding of this procedure can dictate the future health of your eyes and cornea.
About Corneal Collagen Crosslinking
A corneal collagen cross-linking procedure is aimed to reinforce the surface of the cornea and prevent further changes of the shape and form of the cornea caused by keratoconus. The cornea’s middle layer is the corneal stroma, comprised of hundreds of collagen fibrils. These collagen fibrils will have thinned due to keratoconus, resulting in distorted vision and symptoms associated with this disease. The corneal collagen cross-linking procedure create new corneal collagen cross-links which thicken the link between the collagen fibrils. By enhancing the structure of the corneal stroma, the now stiffened cornea will keep to a standard or fixed position, ultimately reducing the unpredictability of cornea changes.
What does this procedure mean for a keratoconus patient?
For the average keratoconus patient, this procedure may not even be necessary as long as your state of keratoconus doesn’t change too drastically. Some patients can simply make do wearing glasses, while most patients rely on specialty contact lenses likes scleral lenses. However, in a severe case of keratoconus that becomes an uncompromising situation, a corneal collagen cross-linking would be advisable.
At Broward Eye Care, our contact lens specialists will guide you in managing your corneal irregularity until you reach clear, comfortable vision. Plus, when you visit with one of our eye doctors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we’ll inform you whether you’d be a candidate for this procedure and guide you to the right surgeon, or whether you can manage without the surgery.
Would undergoing a corneal collagen cross-linking surgery mean that I won’t need scleral lenses anymore?
Unfortunately, for the majority of patients, a corneal collagen cross-linking will mainly slow keratoconus progression. This surgery doesn’t cure keratoconus or stop changes in the cornea.
You’ll likely need to continue wearing scleral lenses or a similar specialty contact lens regardless of the surgery. However, the procedure will allow you to expect fewer issues and reduce the severity of your keratoconus.