One of the modalities to slow or stop keratoconus progress is corneal cross-linking. Corneal cross-linking is exposing the cornea to UV light to change the structure, so the cornea becomes tougher and resists –this will help put the condition under control. This is a very effective treatment. It’s recommended by NICE as a safe and effective treatment for patients with unstable corneas like keratoconus or even those develop ectasia after laser vision correction.
We treat a lot of patients with keratoconus.
The results usually depend on how advanced the disease is, so the success rate is very high in moderate –we could say a 95% success rate.
The cases where the cornea is very distorted, like advanced keratoconus, the success percentage would fall to around 80 or 85%. Still, if the treatment doesn’t work, you can redo it, repeat the cross-linking the cornea, and usually, the cornea is stable.
If the cornea is very distorted, then the other option would be to have cornea transplantation. You can think of corneal cross-linking as a way to defer or hopefully delay the need for cornea transplantation. Sometimes if the condition is very advanced and the cornea is very distorted, or you cannot proceed with the cross-linking, then cornea transplantation is an option.