Corneal cross linking is an innovative new procedure that can slow the progression of degenerative eye diseases. At Mile High Eye Institute, which has locations in Englewood, Broomfield, and Edwards, Colorado, as well as Goodland, Kansas, board-certified ophthalmologists William Richheimer, MD performs this minimally invasive procedure for patients with keratoconus, keratoectasia, and other degenerative conditions. Dr. Richheimer is one of the leading corneal surgeons in the field. To learn more, call Mile High Eye Institute or schedule an appointment online today.
Corneal cross linking (CXL) is a minimally invasive procedure that treats degenerative conditions of the cornea, such as keratoconus and keratectasia — a type of keratoconus that may develop following laser eye surgery. The procedure involves two steps: applying vitamin B drops to the surface of the eye and exposing the eye to ultraviolet (UV) light.
These steps can help strengthen the collagen fibers within the cornea to mildly improve your vision. While CXL isn’t a replacement for optical correction, its goal is to delay or completely eliminate the need for a cornea transplant in the future.
Before you arrive at Mile High Eye Institute for your corneal cross linking procedure, the team measures the thickness of your cornea and maps out its shape through corneal topography. They may also perform a general eye exam and vision test to assess your overall eye health before the procedure.
Once you’re prepared for the procedure, which takes about one hour, the team gives you a mild sedative to keep you relaxed. You stay awake throughout the outpatient procedure, but the team may administer anesthetic eye drops to numb the treatment area.
Next, the team removes the epithelium, the outermost layer of the cornea, before applying vitamin B drops. Before the second step, they measure the thickness of your cornea to determine whether your eye has absorbed enough of the vitamin B solution. Finally, the team applies a UV light to your eye for up to 30 minutes.
After the procedure, you may wear an eye bandage to reduce irritation and accelerate the healing process. The team also prescribes anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops to prevent infections. You should avoid rubbing your eyes for several days after the procedure and avoid high sun exposure.
Corneal cross linking offers many important benefits for individuals with keratoconus or keratectasia, including:
Corneal cross linking can also enhance your comfort when wearing contact lenses if you frequently experience irritation.
To learn more about corneal cross linking, schedule an eye exam with Mile High Eye Institute. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.