In some conditions such as Keratoconus, the Cornea is weak and soft causing it to become progressively steeper and irregular.Consequently the vision becomes worse because the eye is unable to focus light to a discreet point.
If the condition continues to progress the Cornea may become scarred at which point the vision may become very poor and require transplantation.
To avoid this a treatment called Collagen cross linking (CXL or C3R) was invented by Professor Seiler and his team in Dresden.
This treatment is usually performed after local anaesthetic drops are applied (rarely General Anaesthetic is used).The surface of the eye is disrupted to allow Riboflavin (Vitamin B) to absorb into the Cornea.This may take 30 to 60 minutes.
An UltraViolet light is then directed at the Cornea.The interaction of UV light and Riboflavin creates free radicals that produce a chemical reaction in the cornea.This chemical reaction allows the collagen fibres to link together through side chain formation.
Collagen Cross linking is a successful treatment to prevent progression of Keratoconus and other Corneal ecstasias (weakness of the Cornea). It infrequently improves vision, but its main function is to stop the condition getting worse.To improve vision other treatments are necessary such as Intacs,Ferrara rings,Phakic Intraocular lenses or DALK.
If you have Keratoconus or Ectasia and think you may benefit from Collagen cross linking, Mr Lake will explain the risks and benefits of the treatment in your individual case at your consultation.