Cross-Linking For Conical Cornea
Keratoconus, also sometimes referred to as conical cornea, is a progressive eye health condition that results in the bulging and thinning of the cornea, which is the clear, dome-like window on the front portion of the eye that sits on top of the iris or the colored part of the eye. This disorder requires specialized treatment to reduce complications and improve visual acuity, and there are several different types of keratoconus treatment available, including cross-linking.
What Is Cross-Linking For Conical Cornea?
Cross-linking helps correct conical cornea by supporting the weakening structure by creating additional collagen bonds in your cornea. Like support beams, the fibers work to "lift" the corneal bulge, helping to slow the progression of keratoconus and reduce the need for a corneal transplant or deferring it into the future. Cross-linking itself is simple and involves the administration of vitamin eye drops and the application of a special light that activates the vitamin and generates collagen fibers.
Types of Corneal Cross-Linking
There are two kinds of cross-linking treatments, called epi-off and epi-on. Epi-off is more common and means that the epithelium, or the extra-thin outer layer of the cornea, is manually removed with a special tool before administering the vitamin eye drops to the cornea.
In an epi-on treatment, which is less common, the surgeon only loosens the epithelium on the outside of the cornea with a sponge or another kind of eye drop before the vitamin eye drops are administered. Although the epi-off approach is thought to promote better vitamin absorption, the epi-on approach is thought to speed healing. The approach chosen usually depends on the preference of the doctor treating you.
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Who Is Eligible For Cross-Linking For Keratoconus?
The ideal patient for cross-linking is a young keratoconus patient that is still relatively early in the progression of the disease. Cross-linking cannot reverse damage already done by keratoconus and can only prevent the condition from continuing to get worse over time. Patients who are able to see their doctors sooner about keratoconus treatment are better candidates for cross-linking than patients with a high myopic prescription because the condition has been allowed to worsen with age. Cross-linking is an ideal first or second line of treatment along with gas permeable contact lenses, before patients progress towards more invasive keratoconus treatment options like corneal implants.
Contact I Love LASIK For More Information About Keratoconus Treatment
Many patients don't know their blurred vision is caused by a conical cornea until they are in their mid-20s or later if they haven't had regular eye exams throughout their life. The condition causes few other symptoms but can make achieving crisp visual acuity with contacts or glasses difficult. I Love LASIK can help you find out if you're eligible for cross-linking and if you can achieve the desired results with this treatment. If not, we can help you learn about other available options for the treatment of conical cornea.