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Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a degenerative condition where your cornea becomes thinner, and your focus starts to deteriorate.

It is a condition that gradually gets worse over time, with blurred vision as a symptom. Unfortunately there is no cure, and you may require surgery in the form of corneal cross linking.

What happens when you get keratoconus?

Keratoconus occurs when your corner begins to thin, forming a cone shaped bulge, resulting in myopia, and in some cases, astigmatism. It is often quite difficult to correct with glasses, but contact lenses can help to an extent.

Causes of keratoconus

The condition is considered to be genetic. If you suffer with several allergies, you may be more at risk to developing it. Usually affecting children and young adults, keratoconus can start earlier.

Would I be suitable for Corneal Cross Linking?

If your scans come to reveal that your keratoconus is getting worse, or you are at high risk of it getting worse, then corneal cross linking will be recommended to you. Progress usually halts in your mid-30's, so it is not something that is generally required by older patients.

Can you tell me more about Corneal Cross Linking?

Corneal cross linking is currently the only treatment available to suspend the worsening of keratoconus.
Clinical trials have shown that a year after treatment, there has been success in halting the progression of keratoconus in more than 90% of treated eyes, with a further 45% recovering in corneal shape.
A similar study showed very similar patterns over a 5 year period. According to research, there is a visual improvement in about 50%, however please be aware that you will need to wear contact lenses or glasses afterwards.

What is involved in the Corneal Cross Linking treatment?

This treatment is minimally invasive. We use a combination of Riboflavin (vitamin B) drops as well as ultra violet light that is encouraged to react with the collagen fibers in your cornea. The idea is to strengthen them by creating several more cross linking, and replicating the natural corneal stiffening that you would normally get as you get older. With this, we hope to ensure that the progression of keratoconus is slowly halted as the cornea gets stronger.
This procedure is pain-free and whilst it will not reverse keratoconus, it will prevent the decline of your vision.

Are there any risks associated with the Corneal Cross Linking?

As we've always said, there is a risk with everything in life, but it's important to practice patience, because this will be vital in your eyes returning to normal. In very little cases, however, problems do occur - around 3% of patients will experience loss of vision due to constant haze, or infection, and many other complications. If there is visual loss, the option of a corneal transplant is there - without the option of corneal cross linking treatment, around a fifth of patients suffering with keratoconus will need a corneal transplant anyway.

Can you talk through recovery from Corneal Cross Linking treatment?

You will be in some discomfort for around 3-5 days, however this varies from patient to patient. Recovery is normally around one week, but again, this varies from patient to patient.
We recommend that you take at least one week off work to ensure proper recovery, however if complications occur, this could be longer. You will not be able to drive for a minimum of a week.
Please ensure that you take the proper time to rest after your surgery. If you have commitments, such as sports, speak to your docor in regards to when you can continue with these.

Corneal cross linking aftercare

Treatment
1st Visit
2nd Visit
3rd Visit
4th Visit
5th Visit
Corneal Cross Linking
3-4 days - bandage lens to be removed
1 week
Within 3 months
6 months
9 months and discharge
Visit
Description
1st Visit
3-4 days - bandage lens to be removed
2nd Visit
1 week
3rd Visit
Within 3 months
4th Visit
6 months
5th Visit
9 months and discharge

Corneal cross linking treatment cost

CCL (per eye)
£1695

There are various payments methods and plans available if this would be more convenient for you.

If you'd like to learn more about Corneal Cross Linking treatment, you can speak to one of our customer service advisers on 0800 9888 237

Corneal cross linking treatment locations

This is currently performed at our Finchley Road clinic:

128 Finchley Road
London
NW3 5HT