Keratoconus Treatment – Corneal Cross-linking

About Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disorder in which the cornea thins and, instead of maintaining its normal roundness, becomes cone-shaped. This bulging of the cornea causes light entering the eye to be deflected on its way to the retina. Keratoconus affects two out of every 1,000 people, who experience marked deterioration in vision, among other symptoms. Keratoconus can develop during adolescence or someone’s early 20s, and go undetected for many years. Left untreated, keratoconus can cause permanent loss of vision.

Signs and symptoms of keratoconus include:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
  • Distorted, blurry vision
  • Glare or halos
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Irritation of the eyes causing excessive eye rubbing
  • Headaches/general pain around the eyes
  • Eye strain

Post-LASIK ectasia is a type of keratoconus. In these cases, laser vision correction surgery weakens the cornea, causing it to bulge and vision to deteriorate.

Diagnosing Keratoconus

Several tests are used to diagnose keratoconus or post-LASIK ectasia, including computerized corneal topography. Corneal topography makes a three-dimensional map of the cornea to measure its curvature. The earlier keratoconus is diagnosed, the less chance it has of progressing to a point where the patient loses vision permanently.

Keratoconus Treatment: Corneal Cross-linking

A new keratoconus treatment called corneal cross-linking has recently been approved in Canada, and is now available at King LASIK. Corneal cross-linking is a procedure to strengthen the corneal tissue and slow down the progression of keratoconus. During corneal cross-linking, a combination of riboflavin eye drops (vitamin B12) and ultraviolet light are used to reinforce the bonds between collagen molecules in the eye.

The procedure can be performed either with or without the epithelium (outer portion of the cornea) intact. The riboflavin drops are gently applied to the cornea; then, the eye is exposed to a precise amount of ultraviolet (UVA) light. The UVA activates the riboflavin and causes a chemical bond to form between the small corneal collagen fibers. The procedure is quick, safe and effective.

Dr. Joseph King is pleased to offer diagnosis and treatment of keratoconus at King LASIK. Patients from the United States are encouraged to visit the Calgary, Fort McMurray, Edmonton or Vancouver office locations of King LASIK to seek Dr. King’s expertise. Please contact our practice for more details.

Dr. Joseph King
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