Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking

What is the Cornea?

The cornea is the transparent, outer layer of the eye and is normally dome-shaped. In keratoconus, the cornea becomes weak, thin, and cone-shaped. This change in shape of the cornea causes vision to be blurry and distorted and may also cause increased sensitivity to light.

normal cornea vs keratoconus

How does Corneal Cross-linking work?

Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is a procedure that combines the use of riboflavin eye drops and ultraviolet light to strengthen the cornea. The goal of treatment is to halt progressive and irregular changes in corneal shape caused by ectatic diseases. The most common ectatic disease is keratoconus.

• Creates new corneal collagen cross-links
• Results in a shortening and thickening of the collagen fibrils
• Leads to the stiffening of the cornea

corneal cross linking charleston

CXL is not a cure for keratoconus but studies have shown that CXL halts the progression of keratoconus and stops further worsening of vision. Most importantly, this treatment will prevent patients from needing a corneal transplant. The treatment does not normally improve vision and thus, glasses or contact lenses would still be needed after CXL.

CXL was developed in Germany in the 1990s and has been approved in all the countries in the European Union since 2006. In April 2016, the FDA approved the procedure for treatment in the US.

Our practice is the first practice in South Carolina to perform CXL and has been performing CXL since 2013. We have witnessed CXL halt the progression of keratoconus and ectasia in our patients.

The combined leadership and expertise of David Vroman, MD, Kristiana Neff, MD and Michelle S. Ying, MD ensures patients of Carolina Cataract & Laser Center are receiving the best in surgical care and treatment options available. If you or a family member is considering corneal cross-linking and would like more information or to schedule an evaluation, please call (843) 797-3676 or click here to contact us online!