When the cornea becomes weakened by keratoconus, another corneal disease or rarely after LASIK surgery, an exciting new option to strengthen the cornea, collagen cross-linking (CXL), is now available to strengthen the cornea. This procedure has been performed in Europe and South America for over a decade and was finally approved by the FDA in the United States in April 2016.
In this procedure, the surface epithelial layer is removed. The eye is bathed with liquid riboflavin (vitamin B2) and then exposed to a controlled amount of a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light. A bandage contact lens is placed onto the surface of the eye at the end of the procedure and kept on for several days to expedite healing of the surface layer of the cornea and for comfort. The combination of the riboflavin and ultraviolet light results in strengthening of the bonds between the middle layers of the cornea. This usually stabilizes the cornea and prevents or at least reduces further changes in the shape of the cornea. This procedure is often done on both eyes at the same time. The recovery time is about three to five days. Visual recovery takes about four weeks. Other benefits may include an improvement in uncorrected visual acuity and a decrease in astigmatism. This may result in a change of prescription for contact lenses/glasses.
Discover top-notch eye care from an experienced ophthalmologist by calling 212-650-0400 or using our convenient Request an Appointment form. Patients come to us from Scarsdale, Chappaqua and Manhattan, New York, Newark, New Jersey, Greenwich, Connecticut and surrounding areas.
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