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Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking

Kung Eye Center offers Collagen Cross-Linking at either of its New Jersey or Staten Island locations. Corneal collagen cross-linking, or CXL for short, uses ultraviolet (UV) light and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) eye drops to strengthen the corneal tissue. This minimally-invasive procedure is the first of its kind to have the ability to slow or halt the progression of keratoconus, and it also improves the vision in over 50% of the patients that are treated. In the past, patients with keratoconus would often have to have a full-thickness corneal transplant. But now, corneal cross-linking may allow patients with this eye disease to live a normal life by slowing or stopping the progression of keratoconus. The key is to be diagnosed early and seek corneal cross-linking treatment as soon as possible before the keratoconus causes blinding irreversible effects.

Expand Your Knowledge

Gain a deeper understanding about the topics, conditions, and procedures discussed on this page by watching our informational videos.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye condition in which the round, oval-shaped cornea becomes thinner over time and develops a cone-like bulge, resulting in high levels of astigmatism (irregular curvature) and nearsightedness. It is estimated that keratoconus occurs in one out of every 1,000 people in the general population.

How Does Collagen Cross-Linking Work?

Collagen is a structural protein that provides strength and firmness to the corneal tissue. Cross-linking works by forming new cross-links between collagen fibers, which are the natural “anchors” within the cornea. These anchors are responsible for preventing the weakened cornea from bulging out and becoming too steep or irregular. The addition of these cross-links acts like adding rungs on a ladder, strengthening the cornea and allowing it to focus light more efficiently and accurately.

How is Collagen Cross-Linking Performed?

After numbing drops are placed in each eye to ensure patient comfort, the Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) drops are then instilled in the eye for approximately 30-45 minutes. Once the corneal epithelium is fully saturated, the eye is illuminated by ultraviolet light in order to activate the bond between the collagen fibers. This process typically lasts between 5-30 minutes, depending on the specific patient’s condition.

What to Expect

In order to treat Keratoconus with cross-linking, the patient must have an initial consultation to determine if they are a good candidate for the corneal cross-linking procedure. The corneal thickness is a key factor in whether the patient is able to receive this keratoconus treatment and a corneal topography of the cornea will also be used to determine the severity of the condition.

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What are the benefits of Collagen Cross-Linking?

  • Slows or stops the progression of keratoconus.
  • No incision, no injection, no stitches.
  • Only requires a single treatment.
  • Quick recovery time.

Frequently Asked Questions about Corneal Cross-Linking

Are you awake during cross linking?

Yes, you are typically awake during the cross-linking procedure.

Contact Us Today

Kung Eye Center, with offices in East Brunswick, NJ, and Staten Island, NY offers corneal cross-linking for the treatment of keratoconus. For more information about collagen cross-linking or to schedule a consultation, call Kung Eye Center at (929) 429-2928 in our New York office or at (732) 724-2535 in our New Jersey office. Or, you may request an appointment using our online appointment request form.

Request an Appointment

Please call our New York office at (929) 429-2928 or our New Jersey office at (732) 724-2535 with any questions you may have.

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