What Is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus (keh-rah-toe-cone-us) is an eye disorder in which the round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop. This cone-shaped cornea causes light to be refracted incorrectly, resulting in blurred vision, rendering everyday activities, such as reading and driving, a struggle.
Keratoconus Treatment Methods in Marion
Keratoconus can be treated in a number of ways
Collagen Isn’t Only For Lip Enhancement
Most people know about collagen’s use in cosmetic surgery, such as making the lips appear fuller. What many don’t know is that it’s a protein developed inside the human body and can be found in the skin, muscles, and various ligaments.
The cornea of the eye also contains collagen. It is made up of tiny collagen fibers that lie in an intertwined fashion, ensuring that the cornea remains clear. As mentioned above, Collagen Cross-Linking can be used to treat Keratoconus to improve vision. The procedure is called ‘cross linking’ due to the placement of bonds in between the collagen fibers. These bonds provide support to stabilize the cornea.
How Does Collagen Cross-Linking Help My Keratoconus?
Collagen Cross-Linking, or CXL, is considered an ideal treatment for Keratoconus because the procedure flattens and strengthens the cornea, helping to reverse its misshapen form back to its correct one. Once the cornea returns to its original dome-like shape, light can once again hit the pupil correctly, providing improved vision.
CXL is most effective in patients who have been recently diagnosed with Keratoconus; the more the condition advances, the more difficult it is to manage. While CLX does not reverse the corneal shape completely, it can slow down the Keratoconus progression. In most cases, the patient will still need some type of vision correction assistance, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses.
The Collagen Cross-Linking Procedure
When a patient is determined to be a good candidate for Collagen Cross-Linking, an ophthalmologist will perform the minimally invasive procedure, which typically lasts between 30-60 minutes. The CXL procedure is done in office, so there is no need for a hospital visit.
First, The Doctor Will Numb The Eye
What Are The Advantages Of Scleral Lenses? It’s All In The Shape!
Scleral Lenses Are More Wearable And Protect Your Eyes Better
Both rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses and scleral lenses provide the eyes with sufficient oxygen. However, scleral lenses provide more comfort and stable vision than traditional GP lenses. In most cases, scleral contact lenses are the optimal choice of treatment for patients with keratoconus and irregularly-shaped corneas.
Enjoy Better Vision
Additionally, the riboflavin eye drops that the patient receives prior to the UV light application serves as a solid wall of protection against any potential radiation effects.
In April 2016, after conducting rigorous testing and reviewing case studies, the FDA approved the CXL procedure as an effective treatment for slowing down the progression of Keratoconus.
Most eye doctors recommend not wearing contact lenses in the first few days following Collagen Cross-Linking. Others suggest waiting several weeks, but this is contingent upon the type of CXL performed on the patient.
Collagen Cross Linking Side Effects
Every type of medicine or medical procedure carries the risk of potential side effects. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, over the counter drugs, other medical conditions, and even a patient’s personal lifestyle can conflict with CXL. Because The Scleral Lenses Center At Envision Eye Care believes that an informed patient is a smart patient, we encourage you to become aware of the possible side effects of Collagen Cross-Linking. These can include:
Remember, Keratoconus is a condition that requires ongoing treatment by a qualified eye doctor. Even after Collagen Cross-Linking has been performed, it’s important that you or a loved one who suffers from this disease find an eye doctor with you are comfortable with and trust to monitor the condition for the long-term.
Are you considering Collagen Cross Linking or would you like to know if it could help your Keratoconus? Speak with Dr. Lucas Spiker and the team of helpful staff today.
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Marion | Cedar Bluff | Bristol | | in Virginia