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Keratoconus Treatment: Corneal Collagen Cross-linking (CXL)

We are excited to offer the first and only corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) treatment approved by the FDA for progressive keratoconus in patients over age 14. This treatment using Avedro’s Photrexa® eye drop products and KXL System works to strengthen weak corneas by combining the use of ultraviolet (UV) lightfrom the KXL system and riboflavin (a naturally-occurring form of vitamin B2) eye drops. This seemingly simple process helps create new corneal collagen crosslinks to reinforce the corneal structure.

While this is not a cure for keratoconus, CXL can be effective in slowing the progression of the disease, reducing the need for corneal transplants and helping preserve vision. Some patients only require one treatment but they may still need to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses to achieve their best vision possible.

The CXL Process

Your eyes are numbed with eye drops and a thin layer of the outer layer of the eye’s surface (epithelium) is removed. Our doctors then apply the riboflavin solution to the eye for 30 minutes, followed by ultraviolet A light for another 30 minutes. Most patients do not experience discomfort during treatment.

Recovery from CXL

When the treatment is complete, a protective bandage contact lens is placed on the surface of the eye. After the numbing drops wear off, you may experience some discomfort such as a gritty, burning sensation and light sensitivity. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and artificial tears. If pain is severe, prescription medication may be prescribed. It is important to not rub your eyes for the first 5 days after the procedure.

If your bandage contact lens becomes dislodged, you have a sudden decrease in vision or have any severe pain, contact us immediately

Recovery from CXL

When performed by an experienced ophthalmologist like our team at Skyline Vision Clinic & Laser Center, corneal collagen cross-linking in Colorado Springs is considered safe for people between the ages of 14 and 65. Safety has not been established for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Some of the risks include serious eye infection (ulcerative keratitis), pain, hazy/blurry vision, dry eye, fine white lines and disruption of the surface cells. However, the majority of these adverse effects are temporary and resolve in the first month.

If you or your child has been diagnosed with keratoconus in Colorado Springs, contact us today to schedule an eye exam so we can determine if CXL may be an appropriate treatment.

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