Corneal Collagen Crosslinking, also known as CXL, is an in-office keratoconus treatment procedure that strengthens the collagen fiber bonds within the cornea to halt the progression of the dome-like bulging.
The crosslinking process involves applying Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) eye drops to the cornea. Once the riboflavin has been absorbed by the cornea, a highly precise, low dose of ultraviolet light is directed at the cornea for 20 to 30 minutes. This procedure takes place in a single treatment. With keratoconus, the cornea is structurally weak, and collagen fibers within the cornea have too few crosslinks.
Corneal collagen crosslinking is a chemical process similar to the vulcanization of soft rubber to strengthen it into the strong rubber that makes up a tire. Unlike vulcanization, corneal crosslinking uses a weak beam of ultraviolet light and Vitamin B2, and the strengthening process happens at normal body temperature. Within minutes, the strengthening process has occurred.
Crosslinking has been practiced worldwide since 1998, although Clemson Eye was the first in South Carolina to bring this technology to their patients. If you have keratoconus, you’ve got access to a leading expert… right here in the Upstate!