A New Treatment for Keratoconus
For those who suffer from keratoconus, the normally round, dome-like cornea (the clear front window of the eye) becomes thin and develops a cone-like bulge that distorts vision. While in early stages of the disease eyeglasses and rigid contacts can help, in later-stage severe cases a corneal transplant may become necessary.
However, corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is a new treatment available at the Dean McGee Eye Institute that can halt the progression of keratoconus and is the only FDA-approved cross-linking treatment. In fact, DMEI was part of the original FDA study and is one of the first providers in the country to offer it now that is has been approved.
CXL works by strengthening the linkage between collagen fibers in the cornea thus making it more stable. This stops the thinning process and allows the cornea to better hold its shape and focusing power for better visual acuity.
No Surgery Required
CXL is performed as an office visit without surgical incisions. Using eye drops, riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is applied to the cornea. An ultraviolet light is used in combination with the riboflavin to trigger bonding (cross-linking) of collagen molecules in the cornea.
CXL is not currently covered by Medicare or other insurance providers so is an out-of-pocket expense.
To learn more about CXL and whether or not you or a loved one are a candidate, please make an appointment with one of our cornea and external disease doctors by calling 405.271.1095.