What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the typically dome-shaped cornea progressively thins and weakens, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. This progressive change in the shape of the corneal causes visual disturbance.
What is cross-linking?
Cross-linking is a minimally invasive, FDA approved, outpatient procedure that combines the use of prescription eye drops, Photrexa® Viscous(riboflavin5’-phosphate in 20% dextran ophthalmic solution), Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate ophthalmic solution), and ultra-violet A (UVA) light from the KXL® system for the treatment of progressive keratoconus.
What can I expect during the procedure?
After numbing drops are applied, the epithelium (the thin layer on the surface of the cornea) is gently removed. Next Photrexa Viscous eye drops will be applied to the cornea for at least 30 minutes. The cornea is then exposed to UV light for 30 minutes while additional Photrexa Viscous drops are applied.
What is ultra-violet A (UVA) light?
UVA is one of the three types of invisible light rays given off by the sun (together with ultra-violet B and ultra-violet C) and is the weakest of the three.
Does corneal cross-linking require removal of the epithelium?
Yes, your doctor will apply topical anesthesia to numb the eye prior to the removal of the epithelium. This process helps to prepare your eye so that the drug can penetrate the tissue of the cornea to have an effective cross-linking procedure.
Am I awake during the procedure?
Yes, typically you will be awake during the treatment. You may be given a medication to help you relax, and numbing anesthetic drops.
How long does the treatment take?
The actual procedure takes about an hour, but you will be at the office for approximately two hours to allow sufficient time for preparation and recovery before you return to the comfort of your own home.
What can I expect after the procedure?
You should not rub your eyes for the first five days after the procedure. You may notice a sensitivity to light and have a foreign body sensation. You may also experience discomfort in the treated eye and sunglasses may help with light sensitivity.