Corneal cross linking
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Corneal cross linking (sometimes referred to as CXL) is a procedure used to strengthen corneas. It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses ultraviolet light and eye drops in order to strengthen the collagen fibers in the cornea. The procedure is used for patients with keratoconus, a condition in which the cornea grows thin and weak.
While corneal cross linking has been practiced outside the United States for more than a decade, the procedure was only recently approved for use within the United States. Kelly Vision Center is proud to be one of the few eye centers in the country to offer this innovative new treatment.
What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a common disease that occurs in approximately 1 in 750 Americans. With this condition, the cornea becomes weak, progressively thinner, and irregular in shape which can cause high levels of astigmatism. Keratoconus patients often require glasses first, then contact lenses, and, if the condition progresses to a severe level, a corneal transplant may be required.
How effective is CXL?
Research studies have shown that CXL may prevent further vision loss in over 99% of patients. And it often improves vision in 60-81% of patients treated.
When is the best time to have CXL?
The best time to treat keratoconus is before astigmatism has become severe and vision has been lost. Many patients can often experience some improvement in vision over months to years after the CXL procedure. So in general, the sooner that keratoconus can be treated with CXL, the better.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure takes approximately an hour and 15 minutes, and both eyes can have the procedure performed at the same time. The procedure is painless although some patients may experience discomfort after the procedure.
Can I have laser vision correction or Intacs after CXL?
Some patients may be able to have PRK (excimer laser treatment) or Intacs to improve their vision without glasses after they have healed from the CXL procedure.