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Corneal Cross-Linking

Corneal cross-linking can slow or halt the damage caused by keratoconus to your eye. Your vision is precious, so don’t waste time waiting for keratoconus to progress. Talk to your surgeon about corneal cross-linking.

Advanced Corneal Cross-Linking for Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a progressive disease that cannot be reversed, so waiting for your eyesight to deteriorate further is not an option. Keratoconus affects the cornea—the transparent, dome-shaped window at the front of your eye—by weakening the collagen and causing the cornea to bulge over time. If left untreated, the cornea will continue distorting, worsening eyesight and potentially leading to vision loss.

This treatment is a minimally invasive procedure that strengthens the collagen in your cornea and prevents it from warping further. It is safe and painless, and it can protect your eyesight for years to come.

What Can I Expect From Treatment?

Before any eye surgery, your surgeon will numb your eye so you will feel nothing and not be uncomfortable watching the procedure. The procedure involves administering eye drops containing liquid riboflavin—or vitamin B2—into your eye. Your surgeon then uses a UV light to activate the drops, allowing deeper penetration and absorption into the cornea’s collagen. This procedure rejuvenates your collagen fibers so they “cross-link,” resulting in stronger collagen bonds that will withstand the distortion caused by keratoconus.

Rubbing Your Eyes Can Cause Lasting Damage

Eye-rubbing can worsen symptoms in many conditions, especially keratoconus. Rubbing your eye can cause abrasions, inflammation, and cornea thinning—the symptom caused by keratoconus.

Can Corneal Cross-Linking Improve My Eyesight?

Keratoconus is a permanent condition that cannot be reversed. Corneal cross-linking strengthens the cornea so that it does not distort further over time. Still, it cannot repair the damage already done. At Chicago Eye Surgeons, we’re experts in various specialties, so we will discuss all your treatment options with you, whatever your condition.

What should I expect from corneal cross-linking?

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure itself takes approximately 60-90 minutes. You’ll want to plan extra time for pre-surgery prep and recovery afterward. Your specialist team will review the entire process with you in detail before and after surgery—from what you should expect to post-op care at home.

What should I expect after surgery?

Following the procedure, you may experience some discomfort or light sensitivity. Your team will prescribe any medications you might need and schedule your first follow-up. As with all surgical procedures, it’s essential to rest your eye, be patient, and look out for any signs of complications.

Will I need a new prescription?

Because corneal cross-linking strengthens the collagen in your eye, your cornea may change shape, requiring a new prescription for your contacts or lenses. If your prescription doesn’t work as well as it used to, schedule a follow-up with your surgeon.

If you want to manage your keratoconus with corneal cross-linking or other treatments, schedule an appointment or call 773-775-9755.