Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (CXL) is the proven, effective treatment to prevent the progression of keratoconus; if performed early enough, it can prevent many of the problems associated with the condition. The procedure combines the use of ultra-violet light and Riboflavin eye drops.
Cross-linking is a medical procedure that combines the use of ultra-violet light and Riboflavin eye drops to treat keratoconus. During cross-linking the cornea is saturated with riboflavin (vitamin B2), then exposed to ultra-violet light.
The UV light catalyses a chemical reaction which leads to the formation of bonds between collagen fibres in the cornea also known as cross-linking. This strengthens the cornea and prevents further shape change typical in keratoconus.
We offer cutting edge high fluence collagen crosslinking. The main advantage of this technology is that the duration of treatment is accelerated, making the whole experience easier for the patient. Conventional treatments would otherwise take up to an hour for each eye.
Learn more about keratoconus
The procedure is painless and minimally invasive. It is done as a day case under topical anaesthetic drops. Most patients listen to music through their headphones whilst the procedure is performed. The cornea is first soaked in Riboflavin (vitamin B2) drops and then an ultraviolet light (UVA) is applied to the cornea. A bandage contact lens is placed on the cornea at the end of the procedure for comfort and to protect it whilst it heals.
After undergoing corneal cross linking for keratoconus, patients may experience pain in the affected eye for 3-5 days. They can expect to experience sensitivity to light. The bandage contact lens will be removed at a follow-up appointment after a few days. Patients should take time off work and other strenuous activities for up to a week, to allow time to heal.
All surgical procedures carry some risk. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. Please contact Forest Eye Surgery to find out if corneal collagen cross-linking surgery is appropriate for your individual situation.