Corneal Cross-Linking CXL
Corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL C3R) is a treatment to prevent your keratoconus getting worse. It successfully prevents worsening of your keratoconus.
Keratoconus gets worse due to the shape of your cornea becoming more like a cone. Your eye doctor may use the term “progression of your keratoconus”. This happens due to your cornea being too flexible. CXL aims to make the cornea stiffer and prevent any further shape change. If the cornea is allowed to change shape, progressive sight loss will occur. In time, your glasses may stop giving you clear vision. Without treatment, the shape of the cornea will continue to worsen meaning you would eventually need a corneal transplant. By performing CXL early the corneal transplantation for keratoconus eyes is avoided.
Vitamin B2 drops (Riboflavin) are dropped on to the cornea, normally for 20 minutes. A special UV light is then placed in front of your eye for 10 minutes. The combination of Riboflavin and UV light causes extra connections (cross links) to form between the collagen fibres that make up your cornea. This results in your cornea becoming stronger. This is a process that occurs naturally with age.
Why do I need corneal collagen crosslinking CXL?
CXL is recommended to patients whose keratoconus is getting worse or who are at a particularly high risk of progressive keratoconus. Your eye doctor will consider your spectacle prescription, your corneal topography (a special map taken of the front of your eye) and your vision when making the decision to offer CXL.
Keratoconus (and a similar condition called pellucid marginal degeneration) are the most common indications for CXL. Currently CXL is the only treatment proven to prevent keratoconus from getting worse.
CXL can also improve the shape of your cornea. As a result after cross-linking, your vision with spectacles can be improved.