Cross-linking is a treatment you might need if you have a condition called keratoconus, which can make your corneas bulge and affect your vision. The highly experienced team at the Center for Sight of New York, which includes an ophthalmologist and optometrist, specializes in performing delicate procedures like corneal cross-linking at their practice in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. Call Center for Sight of New York today to find out more or request an appointment online.
Corneal cross-linking is a treatment the Center for Sight of New York team uses for the eye problem keratoconus.
Keratoconus is a condition that results in the cornea at the front of your eye gradually thinning and weakening. As a result, your cornea begins to bulge, forming a cone shape that can affect your vision.
Corneal cross-linking involves the use of medicated eye drops in combination with ultraviolet (UV) light. The treatment helps the cornea grow stronger and stop it from bulging any further. It’s known as cross-linking because it creates bonds in your eye between the collagen fibers that support your cornea.
Corneal cross-linking is the only effective treatment for progressive keratoconus that can stop the disease worsening. Without undergoing corneal cross-linking, you might have to have corneal transplant surgery.
The Center for Sight of New York can carry out your corneal cross-linking procedure in-office. You need to have numbing eye drops so you can’t feel anything, and possibly a sedative to keep you relaxed throughout the procedure.
Your provider also puts vitamin B2 (riboflavin) drops in your eyes. Your corneas soak up the drops, improving their ability to absorb light. All you have to do then is lie back in the treatment chair looking up into a light.
There are two approaches to cross-linking. The epi-off technique requires your provider to remove the outer layer of your cornea (the epithelium) before using the drops. With the newer epi-on technique, your provider doesn’t need to remove the epithelium.
On average, it takes between 60 and 90 minutes to complete the corneal cross-linking operation.
Corneal cross-linking is most effective if done in the earlier stages of having keratoconus. The reason is that cross-linking can’t reverse changes in your cornea, just prevent any further deterioration. If you already have an advanced case of keratoconus, the effectiveness of cross-linking is, therefore, going to be limited.
If you have an epi-on cross-linking procedure, you experience far less pain, and your recovery is swift. You should see your sight return to normal within a day of having the procedure. With epi-off cross-linking, your vision might be blurry for several weeks or possibly months.
As the cornea heals, you might see further changes in your sight, and find you have increased light sensitivity. It can take between one and three months for the cornea to heal completely. You might need to get new glasses or contact lenses once you’ve had corneal cross-linking.
To find out more about corneal cross-linking, call Center for Sight of New York today or request an appointment online.