Corneal Cross-Linking

What is Corneal Cross-Linking?

Corneal cross-linking is a medical procedure that strengthens the cornea, which is the clear outer layer of the eye that helps focus light. The surgery, also known as CXL, is performed to treat conditions in which the cornea has become thin and irregularly shaped, causing vision problems.

What Does the Procedure Do?

Corneal cross-linking involves the application of a combination of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and ultraviolet light to the cornea. The riboflavin is absorbed by the cornea, and when exposed to the ultraviolet light, it creates new corneal collagen fibers bonds, strengthening the cornea and preventing it from further shape changes.

How CXL Helps Patients:

  • Improving visual acuity
  • Reducing the need for glasses or contacts
  • Slowing or halting the advancement of keratoconus
  • Increasing stability of the cornea
  • Reducing the risk of needing a corneal transplant

Who is a Candidate for Corneal Cross-Linking?

Patients with early stage keratoconus or corneal ectasia (a condition in which the cornea becomes thin and irregularly shaped), are typically good candidates for corneal cross-linking. Patients with a history of corneal disease or prior eye surgery may not be eligible for the procedure.

How is the CXL Procedure Implemented?

Corneal cross-linking is performed as an outpatient procedure and typically takes less than an hour to complete. The eye is numbed with anesthetic drops, and the riboflavin solution is applied to the cornea. The ultraviolet light is then directed at the cornea for a specific amount of time to activate the cross-linking process.

What is the Recovery Time After Corneal Cross-Linking?

Overall, corneal cross-linking is a safe and effective procedure for treating conditions such as keratoconus and corneal ectasia. If you are experiencing vision problems or have been diagnosed with a corneal condition, schedule an appointment at Cutarelli Vision today to speak with an eye doctor to determine if corneal cross-linking is right for you, or if another procedure is a better option.