What is corneal cross linking?
Patients of progressive Keratoconus are advised Corneal Collagen Cross Linking C3R to halt the progression. When progression of Keratoconus is documented, either on Topography or increase in spectacle powers, this treatment called C3R Surgery or CXL needs to be done.
Corneal Collagen Cross-linking with Riboflavin (C3R Surgery) has been demonstrated in Europe to strengthen a weakened corneal structure. Corneal Collagen Cross Linking is done with Riboflavin, which is a vitamin solution used to soak the cornea and then exposed under Ultraviolet- A light. This photochemical reaction increases the linkage between the collagen fibres of these weak corneas. This treatment has been shown to halt the progression of the condition, though not reverse it.
Once the procedure is done, the cornea stabilizes over a period of 2-3 months, after which the patient will be re-evaluated for need of glasses or contact lenses.
LASER with cross linking
This is a relatively new procedure done for Keratoconus patients who have a small spectacle number and good corneal thickness. Here a specialized laser is first used to minimize the number, and then the regular cross linking is performed. It can only be done for a select few cases, and still the patient may require glasses or lenses even after the procedure.
It is important for the patient to know that this laser will only regularize and maybe reduce the spectacle power, but will never give precise outcomes like that in LASIK because the cornea is irregular to begin with.