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Cornea Center

Corneal Crosslinking

For many, it starts in the classroom – difficulty seeing the blackboard or experiencing extreme sensitivity to the harsh fluorescent lighting. You go to the doctor thinking you may get a simple glasses or contact lens prescription, but instead are facing a prognosis different than you imagined.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus, a bilateral (both eyes) degenerative condition of the cornea is a transparent dome-shaped tissue that forms the front part of the eye. Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea progressively becomes thinner, weaker, and irregular in shape. Instead of a normal, relatively round shape resulting in clear vision, the cornea in keratoconus can become cone shaped. This can interfere with the ability to see clearly.

Keratoconus patients usually first require glasses, then contact lenses to see clearer. As the condition progresses, these measures may no longer be effective, since neither glasses nor contacts, treat the disease. In fact, some patients with keratoconus experience significant vision loss, that can eventually lead to the need for a corneal transplant. But thanks to a group of Doctors at Montgomery & Riddle Eye Care, keratoconus may not be a lifetime sentence.

Introducing FDA Approved Corneal Collagen Crosslinking

Corneal Collagen Crosslinking is an in-office procedure that strengthens the collagen fiber bonds within the cornea to halt the progression of the domelike bulging.

The crosslinking process involves applying Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) eye drops on the cornea. Once the riboflavin has been absorbed by the cornea, a highly precise, low dose of ultraviolet light is directed at the cornea for 20 to 30 minutes. This procedure takes place in a single treatment. With keratoconus, the cornea is structurally weak, and collagen fibers within the cornea have too few crosslinks.

Corneal collagen crosslinking is a chemical process similar to the vulcanization of soft rubber to strengthen it into the strong rubber that makes up a tire. Unlike vulcanization, corneal crosslinking uses a weak beam of ultraviolet light and Vitamin B2, and the strengthening process happens at normal body temperature. Within minutes, the strengthening process has occurred.

Crosslinking has been practiced worldwide since 1998, although Montgomery & Riddle Eye Care was the first in South Carolina to bring this technology to their patients. If you have keratoconus, you’ve got access to a leading expert… right here in the Upstate!

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