Keratoconus Treatment: What is Corneal Cross-Linking?
Keratoconus is an eye problem in which the cornea or the front portion of the eye becomes thin and weak over time. The tissues in the eyes tend to drift apart when they are loosely attached. As a result, the cornea bulges into a cone shape, disrupting the ability to see clearly. UltraView cross-linking is a reliable keratoconus treatment, recommended by reputable doctors. Read on to learn more about this procedure so you can make an informed choice if you need a corneal transplant.
Ideal Candidates for Keratoconus Cross-Linking
- Patients Between the Ages of 10 – 45 Years
Whether or not you show signs of progression, you can undergo the treatment for corneal cross-linking. It is best to treat the condition as early as possible.
- Patients Over 25 Years of Age with a History of Progression
A comprehensive eye exam can help you determine the stage of the disease. You may be eligible for the keratoconus cross-linking procedure even with a history of progression. However, it is not advisable to undergo the surgery if you have significant corneal scarring or if your cornea is less than 320 microns.
It helps to know that the treatment does not reverse the changes in your cornea. However, it can prevent the condition from getting worse and slow the progression. Be sure to consult your doctor as early as possible to discuss the available treatment options.
Benefits of Corneal Cross-Linking in Vaughan
- Prevents the progression of keratoconus
- Improves corneal rigidity
- Reduces astigmatism and nearsightedness due to the disease
- Defers the need for a corneal transplant
- Enhances contact lens wear
Preparing for Corneal Cross-Linking
Be sure to avoid wearing perfume, eye makeup, or after-shave on the day of the procedure. You may drink fluids and have a light meal before the surgery. Arrange for a family member or friend to drive you back home after your procedure and carefully follow your eye surgeon’s instructions.
What Happens During Keratoconus Cross-Linking?
The surgical treatment for keratoconus typically takes around 60-90 minutes and includes the following steps:
- Your doctor will recommend anesthesia or a suitable eye drop to numb your eyes. They may also prescribe medication, if necessary, to help you relax before the procedure.
- To help your cornea better absorb light, they will use a vitamin solution around 30 minutes before the surgery.
- Your doctor will ask you to relax, lie back in a chair comfortably, and look up at a light. This will allow them to strengthen the corneal collagen cross-linking using UV light. Since your eyes will be numb, you shouldn’t experience any pain during the procedure.
- You may spend most of the day with your eye doctor, so they can observe your condition and monitor your progress. Also, make arrangements for a few weeks of recovery after the surgery.
Types of Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL)
- Epi-off Cross-Linking
The epithelium is the thin, outer layer of the cornea. Under the epi-off technique, your doctor will remove the epithelial cells before putting the eye drops.
- Epi-on CXL
It is also known as transepithelial cross-linking. Under this technique, they will loosen your epithelial cells with a sponge before putting the drops. It is known to have fewer side effects.
Your Vision After Corneal Cross-Linking
Immediately after the keratoconus cross-linking procedure, your vision may become slightly blurry. As your cornea heals, you will notice positive changes in your eyesight. It helps to know that you may be more sensitive to light and have a mildly poorer vision for around 1 to 3 months after the keratoconus treatment.
The main aim of the corneal cross-linking procedure is to slow the progress of the disease and prevent any vision problems in the future. Many studies suggest that UltraView cross-linking is an exceptional solution for people with keratoconus. You may, however, need glasses or contact lenses after the surgery for improved eyesight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Corneal Cross-Linking
How Successful is Kerataconus Cross-Linking?
CXL is an effective procedure for treating keratoconus. According to research, the success rate for an epi-off treatment is over 95%. A second treatment may be required for the remaining 5% of patients. We have qualified eye surgeons at UELC to help determine whether you are an ideal candidate for this procedure.
Will My Vision Improve Immediately After Keratoconus Surgery?
Corneal cross-linking can slow your disease and help prevent problems with your eyesight in the future. Thus, the surgery can stabilize your vision, but may not improve it. It helps to know that your sight may be worse than pre-op during the first month after the procedure. Your surgeon may recommend wearing a soft contact lens until the epithelium heals and becomes intact, generally within five days. It is best to wait at least two months before changing your prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses.
What Should You Avoid After Keratoconus Cross-Linking?
There are a few simple things you need to follow post-procedure. It includes not rubbing your eyes while wearing contact lenses. If you do so accidentally and the contact lens comes out, be sure not to put it back. Also, you may not need to use eye drops at night.
If you are concerned about your eye health, please call the UELC clinic for assistance.
Can I Go Blind if I Have Keratoconus?
Although Keratoconus does not usually induce complete blindness, it can degrade your vision and cause you difficulty in leading a regular life. On the other hand, if you have mild keratoconus, you may not even require contact lenses or glasses after the keratoconus treatment.
Schedule Your Keratoconus Cross-Linking with Us
At UELC, we care about your needs and strive to help you enjoy better eyesight. We have the best eye clinic for corneal cross-linking in Vaughan, Toronto, and Brampton. Our qualified eye surgeons will work to understand your problems, examine your eye health, and recommend the most suitable treatment, so your vision can be improved. We have the expertise and top-of-the-line equipment to perform the necessary procedures, including UltraView cross-linking.
If you are looking at options for cross-linking in Vaughan, Brampton, or Toronto, be sure to give us a call at 416-653-8352. You could also fill out our online form to book a complimentary consultation with us.