If the patient is a candidate for surgical treatment of keratoconus, the cross linking method is used.
- Cross-linking method (corneal collagen cross-linking or CXL) is an eye surgery performed to stop or slow the progression of the disease.
The method is as follows:
- The epithelium (outer protective layer of the cornea) is removed;
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is instilled into the cornea until it is completely filled (like a sponge);
- Ultraviolet radiation irradiates the cornea until riboflavin is activated in it.
- The method itself lasts from 60 to 90 minutes, is performed according to a precisely defined protocol (Dresden protocol) for the best results.
The method itself is not dangerous for the vision or the eye, it can be performed many times, but usually only one cross linking is needed in life because its effects last about 20 years.
People who are recommended cross linking are patients with keratoconus, whose corneal thickness is not less than 390 microns, patients whose cornea is clear and without scars, whose corneal meridian values have a maximum of 58 diopters, and the visual acuity with glasses is 0.9 or lower.
What most people with keratoconus are interested in is whether and when they can see well. Treatment of keratoconus is slow and requires patience. Finally, once we have achieved a firm and flat cornea with the cross linking method and after determining the stability of the disease, we can proceed with the correction.
The patient is checked out of hospital immediately after the intervention.
Conservative treatment with glasses and lenses is recommended for older people with stable keratoconus or for young people 4-6 months after cross linking. Contact lenses and glasses do not stop the progression of keratoconus, nor strengthen the cornea, but provide better vision by correcting the diopter itself.