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Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking - Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser

CORNEAL COLLAGEN CROSS-LINKING

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that develops when the cornea of your eye thins and begins to bulge into a cone shape. A normal, curved cornea helps deflect light away from your light sensitive cornea, so when it changes shape, light is reflected directly to your retina, causing distorted vision, blurred vision, nearsightedness, and light sensitivity.

Corneal collagen cross-linking is a medical procedure that combines the use of ultraviolet (UV) light and riboflavin eye drops to help slow the progression of this disease. It induces biomechanical and cellular changes in your eye.  

As a first-line treatment, the cross-linking aims to reduce and stop keratoconus in the early phase of the condition and to treat the progressive vision loss that occurs, which can lead to corneal transplantation.

WHO ARE IDEAL CANDIDATES FOR CORNEAL CROSS-LINKING

With today’s improved technology, the vast majority of people suffering from keratoconus may safely undergo cross-linking. Consult an ophthalmologist who will look at your unique medical and vision profile to determine if you a candidate for corneal cross-linking, or if another procedure may be more effective for you.

Cross-linking patients may also be candidates for PRK.

HOW CROSS-LINKING WORKS

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is dripped into the cornea and then exposed to UV light.  The light causes the riboflavin to form bonds between collagen molecules or simply stated, collagen cross-linking.

SAFETY OF UV LIGHT AND RIBOFLAVIN DROPS

The ultraviolet light exposure during a cross-linking procedure is comparable to or even less than, the exposure of the eye to the UV light in sunlight for a full day outdoors in summer. The riboflavin drops are simply vitamin B2, commonly used in foods such as your breakfast cereal.

The procedure is very safe because no cuts are made into the body of your cornea and lasts longer than a corneal graft. Likewise, it’s safer than corneal transplants. It is safe to perform a second cross-linking procedure on your eyes if necessary, but studies have shown it’s very rarely required.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PROCEDURE

First, our ophthalmologists will put anesthetic in your eyes, and remove surface cells from your cornea so the riboflavin eye drops can penetrate into the cornea. The riboflavin eye drops are applied and allowed to soak into the cornea. The cornea is then irradiated with UV light for 12 minutes. Finally, a bandage contact lens is inserted and the eye is patched overnight.

RECOVERY AND POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS

Because cross-linking isn’t a surgical procedure, there is no change in the appearance of your eyes. You may experience mild pain and sensitivity to light in the first few days, or mildly blurred vision for a few weeks. Depending on your eyes, you may experience other less common side-effects, and your ophthalmologist will discuss these with you.

Since cross-linking makes the cornea more regular, you may be able to use soft contact lenses instead of rigid gas permeable lenses.  Talk to your ophthalmologist about your contact lens options and how soon you can wear them after the procedure.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH OUR TEAM

To learn more about cataract surgery and the artificial lens options we offer, please schedule a consultation with our team. Contact Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser today.

TESTIMONIALS &

REVIEWS

“From the consulation all the way through my PRK surgery, the staff were able to answer all my questions. They are very thorough with their pre-op information. I had no questions going into surgery. They pre book all follow up appointments so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Dr. King was very approachable and answered any burning questions I had. Would definitely recommend them!”

Dawnlea S.

“All of the staff at Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser were professional, competent, approachable and helpful. They were able to accommodate my schedule when booking appointments. I was always taken on time and each procedure was carefully explained. I felt very comfortable with the entire experience and had complete trust in their ability. They met or exceeded my expectations and I’m delighted with my result.”

Susan B.

“Amazing staff! Every member of the staff made each part of my experience more comfortable. Staff members were very knowledgeable and answered all my questions as well as told me what to expect with PRK. I am very happy with my experience and would definitely recommend Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser to others!”

Chris M.

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