Corneal Cross-Linking

Keratoconus is a congenital (condition from birth) disease of the cornea and it belongs to the large group of hereditary corneal dystrophies.

Keratoconus is a fairly uncommon condition that affects the cornea (the transparent window at the front of the eye). It is mostly congenital. It can also occur as a complication of LASIK when the condition is called ectasia.

Keratoconus causes changes within the structure of the cornea making it weaker and thin resulting in a 'cone shaped' forward bulge. Keratoconus leads to myopia (short sight) and, if the steepening is uneven, also astigmatism. With Keratoconus, visual distortion can become difficult to correct with spectacles, although contact lenses (usually rigid) can provide more functional visual performance.

At first, the protrusion occurs in the inferior parts (lower half) but later on it also affects the central part of the cornea.

Corneal Cross-Linking - A New Treatment for Keratoconus

A new minimally invasive procedure called Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking has now been developed and it is available at Optimax.

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Mechanism of Corneal Cross-Linking

This treatment uses a combination of Riboflavin (Vitamin B) drops and ultra violet light that reacts with the collagen fibers in the cornea, strengthening them by creating more 'cross-linking' among them. The resulting increased strength of the cornea stabilises the progression of keratoconus.

This treatment does not provide a cure for keratoconus but in most cases prevents it from getting worse. Patients who previously had progressive keratoconus have now been treated and followed for up to five years without evidence of any further change in their condition.

For further advice or to book your FREE consultation call 0800 093 1110

Cross-Linking Procedure

An anaesthetic drop is placed in the eye. The epithelium is removed by softening it with a diluted form of alcohol called ethanol.

Riboflavin vitamin drops are then applied to the corneas every 5 minutes for half an hour. The UV light is then applied to cornea for another half an hour in graded steps. Antibiotic and steroid drops are applied to your eye and a bandage contact lens is inserted in the treated eye for 3 to 5 days. The procedure itself is usually pain free.

Cross-Linking Recovery

The treated eye is usually painful for 3 to 5 days. The intensity of post operative pain experienced by patients can vary from patient to patient. Recovery time is about one week although most patients may find that it may be slightly longer.

Return to work

After treatment expect to take up to one week off work and for some patients who experience complications this could be longer. You will not be able to drive for at least a week.

Light sensitivity

After treatment this may be severe. It is important to rest as much as possible during these days to let the eye heal. If you partake in activities or sport, please ask your doctor when these may be resumed.

Aftercare appointments for Cross-Linking

Treatment1st Visit2nd Visit3rd Visit4th Visit5th Visit
CCL 3-4 Days bandage lens removed 1 Week Within 3 months 6 Months 9 Months and discharge with a satisfactory result
Cross-Linking Treatment
1st Visit 3-4 Days bandage lens removed
2nd Visit 1 Week
3rd Visit Within 3 months
4th Visit 6 Months
5th Visit 9 Months and discharge with a satisfactory result

The Next Step

To discuss treatment or to book a consultation call our Customer Services Team today on 0800 093 1110, consultations are free of charge. Corneal cross-linking is currently being performed at Optimax London.

The cost for this treatment

The cost for this treatment is £1495 per eye, different treatment payment methods and easy payment plans are available at Optimax.