Corneal Cross-Linking for Keratoconus

What is Keratoconus?

Your cornea is the clear, dome-shaped window at the front of your eye. It focuses light into your eye. Keratoconus is when the cornea thins out and bulges like a cone. Changing the shape of the cornea brings light rays out of focus. As a result, your vision is blurry and distorted, making daily tasks like reading or driving difficult.

Causes of Keratoconus

Doctors do not know for sure why people have keratoconus. In some cases, it appears to be genetic (passed down in families). About 1 out of 10 people with keratoconus have a parent who has it too.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

Keratoconus can often affect both eyes and can lead to very different vision between the two eyes. Symptoms can differ and may change over time.

  • mild blurring of vision
  • slightly distorted vision, where straight lines look bent or wavy
  • increased sensitivity to light and glare
  • eye redness or swelling

Keratoconus usually takes years to go from early to late stage. For some people, though, keratoconus can get worse quickly. The cornea can swell suddenly and start to scar. When the cornea has scar tissue, it loses its smoothness and becomes less clear. As a result, vision grows even more distorted and blurry.

Keratoconus Treatment

Keratoconus treatment depends on your symptoms. When your symptoms are mild, your vision can be corrected with eyeglasses. Later you may need to wear special hard contact lenses to help keep vision in proper focus.

  • Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking. Here at Loma Linda we now offer the First and Only FDA-Approved Cross-linking Therapy for the treatment of Progressive Keratoconus. Corneal Cross-Linking using Avedro’s Photrexa products and KXL System is a medical procedure that combines the use of ultra-violet (UV) light and riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops. The procedure works by creating new corneal collagen cross-links, which results in a shortening and thickening of collagen fibrils which leads to stiffening the cornea.

To determine if corneal cross-linking may be right for you or a member of your family, please contact Jesica McCowen Refractive Coordinator (909) 558-2000.