Treatment for Keratoconus depends on the stage and progression of the disease.
Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (CXL) has been used in Europe for several years and has recently received FDA approval in the United States. CXL increases the number of collagen crosslinks or protein fibers which are the natural “anchors” within the cornea responsible for strengthening the cornea, preventing bulging and keeping the cornea from becoming steep and irregular. During this painless treatment, custom-made riboflavin drops saturate the cornea. Evidence of the saturation into the anterior chamber of the eye is demonstrated by slit-lamp evaluation. Once this is confirmed, the patient’s eye is put under a specialized lamp, which emits UV light at a predetermined wavelength.
With the advent of the recent FDA approval of a single treatment system and protocol, Dr. Furlong is not offering Corneal Cross Linking (CXL) at this time. He is researching several alternative treatment protocols that are being evaluated for patient comfort, recovery time and efficacy. Dr. Furlong will continue to examine and diagnose Keratoconus patients and offer Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) and Intacs treatments for those patients who will benefit from these procedures and will resume CXL treatment once he determines which protocol offers the best outcome and safety.
Intacs are prescription loops inserted into the cornea, creating a framework that stabilizes, flattens and strengthens the cornea while changing the shape and location of the cone and improving vision when contact lenses and glasses are no longer suitable.
Intacs shown on the tip of a finger
Photo to the left shows Intact in an eye.
Together, these treatments offer a new alternative that can significantly delay, or even prevent the need for a corneal transplant, while providing significantly better vision and comfort than glasses or contact lenses.
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) is a non-laser refractive eye surgery designed to correct astigmatism, which is a common problem associated with Keratoconus. This procedure uses low-energy radio waves to reshape the cornea and reduce or eliminate astigmatism.
During the CK procedure, the surgeon uses a hand-held instrument with a tiny probe (smaller than a human hair) to apply low-level, radio frequency energy to the outer part of the cornea. This change in the curvature of the eye’s surface makes the cornea rounder and therefore, treats the astigmatism.
If you have been diagnosed or have symptoms indicative of Keratoconus, call us to schedule a Keratoconus consultation.