Derby Private Health is pleased to announce the purchase of a new collagen cross-linking machine, which will be used to treat Keratoconus and other corneal diseases.
Collagen cross-linking is a new procedure for the treatment of Keratoconus, which has been shown to vastly improve the strength of the cornea following the treatment.
Keratoconus causes the clear covering of the eye (the corneal surface) to thin and bulge into a cone-like shape which leads to blurred and distorted vision. The use of glasses or contact lenses may help with the problem, but further treatment is necessary in some severe cases.
The procedure will be carried out by our consultant ophthalmic surgeon, Mr Maghizh Anandan FRCO, FRCS, MRCS, D.O, who below explains the process involved in the treatment, and how it benefits patients.
Derby Private Health is accredited by Bupa for its full cataract pathway. Find out more here.
What is collagen cross-linking?
Collagen cross-linking, also known as C3-R, is a new treatment for keratoconus which has shown in extensive experimental studies to significantly increase corneal rigidity/stiffness, halting the progression of keratoconus in treated eyes. Collagen cross-linking uses a photosensitising agent, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and ultraviolet light (UVA, 365nm) exposure.
How is the treatment carried out?
The procedure is carried out under a local anaesthetic. Firstly, the top layer of the cornea is scraped slightly to help the riboflavin eye drops to be absorbed. While the eye drops are applied, a UVA light is shone onto the surface of the cornea for 30 minutes.
The eye drops and UVA light strengthen the fibres in the cornea via a process called cross-linkage. While the cornea is healing, patients may be given painkillers, antibiotic eye drops and artificial tears to prevent the cornea from becoming too dry.
Who can benefit from collagen cross-linking treatment?
It is important to understand that this procedure aims to halt the progression of keratoconus and is not a cure for the disease. Patients with documented evidence of keratoconus progression will benefit from the treatment, but will have to continue to wear glasses or contact lenses following the treatment – although a change in prescription may be required.
The main aim of cross-linking is to stop the progression of keratoconus and therefore prevent further deterioration in vision and the need for corneal transplantation. However, in advanced cases of keratoconus, where the thickness of the cornea is below 350 microns, this treatment may not be possible.