This revolutionary new treatment offers a new hope in patients of progressive Keratoconus.
Collagen Cross Linking is a new modality of treatment that aims to arrest progression of keratoconus. The corneal collagen is crosslinked with the help of ultraviolet rays ( UVA ) and a photosensitiser, Riboflavin , thus enhancing the rigidity of corneal tissue and stabilizing the condition.
Who are suitable candidate for Collagen crosslinking ?
Patient must be a proven case of keratoconus with documented progression of the disease.
Patient’s corneal thickness must be at least 400 microns.
Patient should not be pregnant or nursing.
How is Collagen crosslinking performed ?
The treatment is performed under topical anaesthesia with the patient in a lying down posture in the sterile environment of the operating room. The patient’s corneal epithelium is gently removed, following which Riboflavin solution is applied every 5 minutes for the first half an hour. Thereafter the patient’s cornea is exposed to UVA light for half an hour. The treatment is painless and lasts for an hour, at the end of which the eye is patched.
When can the patient resume normal routine ?
After the treatment, patient will be able to resume work within 3 to 4 days.Care should be taken to avoid entry of water into the eyes during this period.The use of contact lenses may be resumed 6 weeks after treatment.
How often must the patient come for follow up ?
The surgeon will examine the patient’s eye daily for the first 2 to 3 days until the epithelial healing is complete. Eye drops will be used for 4 months. Patient will have to come for follow up at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years after the procedure.
What are the possible side effects of the procedure?
A foreign body sensation, irritation or watering accompanied by pain is not uncommon on the day of treatment. Analgesics for relief from pain will be prescribed , and the pain usually subsides within 24 hours. Dryness of the eyes frequently follows this treatment and may last for 6 to 8 months. Tear lubricants are therefore recommended for the period.
Concerns using UVA light
UVA light can potentially harm the vital cell layer of the cornea known as the endothelium as also the crystalline lens and the retina.
The 3 & 5 year results of the Dresden clinical study on collagen crosslinking in human eyes has shown arrest of progression of keratoconus in all treated eyes Collagen crosslinking has thus emerged as a safe and effective , inexpensive non surgical promising new treatment for Keratoconus to slow the progression of the disease and to delay or avoid corneal graft surgery.