Keratoconus

Corneal Disease Treatment

Yelp Review

I walked into Dr. Beyer's office with terrible -6.5 vision. Astigmatism. Keratoconus. 30+ years of expensive glasses and complicated contact lenses. A travel kit full of solutions and eyewear gear. Toil and trouble. After corneal cross-linking and PRK, I'm 20/20. Wham bam, easy peasy! No kidding. It's been a year and I still find it hard to believe. I couldn't be happier with the process and result. No correction needed at all anymore. Not even reading glasses and I'm 47 years old. Now I travel with little more than a toothbrush. I can see! What more do I need to say? Thank you, Dr. Beyer!

Keratoconus

The most common corneal disease, it is actually a thinning of the cornea itself. As the disease progresses and the cornea becomes thinner, it eventually bulges outward to create somewhat of a cone shape. Known as astigmatism, this disease can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

What is Keratoconus?

The exact cause of this degenerative eye disease is not known, but many theories claim that cellular causes, genetics, and environmental factors may play a role in the development of keratoconus. The disease commonly appears in teens and young adults, and can cause visual impairment such as:

  • Distorted vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Corneal scarring

The progression of the disease usually happens gradually and may even slow or stop at different stages. For most patients, the first symptom is blurred vision or distorted vision. In the early stages, patients may notice the worsening of their nearsightedness or astigmatism leading to numerous changes in prescription.

Corneal Collagen Cross Linking

To help treat patients with keratoconus, Corneal Collagen Cross Linking (CXL) can strengthen the cornea as well as prevent further vision loss. Keratoconus weakens, thins, and bulges the cornea forward into the shape of a cone, resulting in poor vision. Fortunately, studies have shown that CXL successfully treats keratoconus and often prevents the need for a corneal transplant.

The Basics of Corneal Collagen Cross Linking With Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Corneal Collagen Cross Linking involves the use of UV light and a photosensitizer to strengthen the chemical bonds found in the cornea. The goal of this procedure is to stop ectasia, or irregular changes in corneal shape, from progressing.

The technique was first used in the late 1990s, and based on studies lasting for over a decade, the effects seem to last for a long time and could even be permanent. According to several research studies, it appears that CXL may be able to prevent further loss of vision in more than 95 percent of patients. It is even shown to improve vision in 60-81 percent of those who have undergone the procedure.

About the Procedure

  • CXL is an outpatient procedure that uses numbing eye drops as well as a mild sedative. While patients lie back and look up at a soft blue light, the doctor removes the epithelium, which is the layer of clear tissue that protects the cornea. The patient then receives vitamin eye drops and looks up at the ultraviolet light.
  • Both eyes can be treated together or separately. When both eyes are being treated, the procedure typically takes about 90 minutes. If only one eye is being treated, the procedure is generally around an hour.
  • CXL is painless due to the use of anesthetic eye drops. Some patients may experience some slight discomfort following the treatment.

Contact Boulder Eyes / Beyer LASIK For More Information

If you are interested in learning more about Corneal Collagen Cross Linking (CXL) or would like to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure, contact Boulder Eyes / Beyer LASIK at (303) 499-2020.

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