Current treatment for keratoconus includes glasses in the earliest stages to treat nearsightedness and astigmatism. As keratoconus progresses and worsens, glasses are no longer capable of providing clear vision, and patients need to wear a contact lens, usually rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens.
Progressive keratoconus can be treated by corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL). This one-time, in-office procedure involves the application of a vitamin B solution to the eye, which is then activated by ultraviolet light for about 30 minutes or less. The CXL causes new collagen bonds useful the evolution of the keratoconus.
While the treatment cannot make the cornea entirely normal again, it can keep vision from getting worse and, in some cases, may improve vision.
Cross-linking was approved as a treatment for keratoconus by the FDA in April 2016, after clinical trials showed that it stopped or produced a mild reversal in bulging of the cornea within three to 12 months after the procedure.
Stable Keratoconus or keratoconus treated by CXL can be implanted with ICRs (Intra Corneal Rings). VTRs are an advanced technology in the field of the corneal rings. They can re-shape and improve corneal deformation reducing astigmatism and increase patient visual acuity. The procedure of implantation takes about 15 minutes.
In a corneal transplant, a donor cornea replaces the patient’s damaged cornea. Corneal transplants is requested for patients with advanced keratoconus. After transplant surgery vision can remain blurry for about three to six months, and medication must be taken to avoid transplant rejection. In almost all cases, glasses or a contact lens are necessary to provide the clearest vision.