Treatment for Keratoconus: Corneal Cross-linking

Keratoconus is a disease that typically affects young people in their late teenage years and early 20s. Caused by a thinning of the corneal tissue on the outer surface of the eye, it causes the cornea to bulge out into a cone shape. This results in visual distortion because light entering the eye lands haphazardly in front of or behind the retina.

An enzyme imbalance in the cornea may be one reason that 1 in 2,000 people suffer from keratoconus. It can also be genetic.

Keratoconus Symptoms

Keratoconus is a progressive disease; some can experience a worsening of symptoms over 10-20 years.

  • Blurry vision
  • Glare
  • Ghosting of images
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye irritation

Keratoconus Treatment in Buffalo

While glasses and rigid contacts can be an effective treatment, the team at Atwal Eye Care / Buffalo Eye Care Associates also offers a progressive treatment for keratoconus: corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL).

How Corneal Cross-Linking Works: Vitamin B2 & Ultraviolet A Light

This FDA-approved process strengthens the cornea through a process of applying a riboflavin solution (a form of vitamin B2) to the eye, followed by ultraviolet A light exposure. This increases collagen cross-links, the cornea becomes more stable and able to better maintain the proper dome shape.

The application of the liquid riboflavin eye drops can be done in 2 ways:

  • After removing a very thin outer layer of the cornea (epithelium off)
  • By applying the drops directly to the eye’s surface (epithelium on/transepithelial)

Your doctor will determine the best method after analyzing your unique eyes. A single treatment may be sufficient to improve vision and slow the progression of the disease. Glasses or contacts may still be needed to further enhance vision.

This is not a cure for keratoconus, but it may reduce the need for a corneal transplant in the future.

If you or a loved one is suffering from keratoconus, contact us today to schedule an eye exam with our keratoconus doctors in Buffalo and learn about this innovative treatment option of corneal cross-linking in Buffalo.