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Eye Laser Procedures & Surgeries
Eye Laser Procedures & Surgeries performed by Dr Wassermann
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Corneal Cross Linking

Keratoconus is an uncommon degenerative eye disorder in which the normally round, dome-like cornea (the clear front window of the eye) becomes thin and develops a cone-like bulge. Keratoconus literally means "cone-shaped cornea".

Symptoms of Keratoconus include sensitivity to light and distortion of vision. If the condition affects both eyes it can, in time, influence a person's ability to drive or read normally.

Although usually a progressive disease, recent data suggests that it stabilizes after time in most patients, and that treatment with rigid contact lenses is successful for many.

Until recently there has been no viable Keratoconus treatment available, and often patients were forced to undergo drastic corneal transplant surgery. A number of clinical studies have demonstrated, however, that progressive Keratoconus can be stabilised by means of corneal cross-linking.

What to Expect

The procedure is painless. Topical anesthetic will be instilled in the eye which is to be treated. The patient's corneal thickness will be measured to make sure their cornea is thick enough for treatment. If it is too thin, it may be swollen with hypotonic solution.

The top layer of the cornea is removed under local anesthesia. Vitamin drops are soaked into the cornea until they penetrate the entire corneal and evidence of penetration 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 for approximately 30 minutes. This stimulates collagen fibers to connect to one another, or crosslink.

Collagen is the primary protein constituent of the body's connective tissues. The procedure helps restore appropriate curvature and structure to the cornea, and makes it possible for most patients who need them to wear rigid contact lenses again.

A bandage contact lens is then put on the eye and patients are given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drops and follow up on a regular basis with their physicians for several months.  During the healing process, the patient's vision will be hazy and they may experience scratchiness, light sensitivity and fluctuating vision.

Some patients will need to change their contact lens or spectacle prescription after treatment, as there is often an improvement in myopia and astigmatism following treatment.