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Corneal Cross-Linking & Keratoconus


What once may have required a cornea transplant, now can be treated with a simple outpatient procedure called Cross-Linking. This is the only FDA-approved therapeutic treatment for progressive keratoconus.

Cross-linking is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for the treatment of progressive Keratoconus.

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What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus, often referred to as “KC,” is a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the typically round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins and weakens, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. This causes “static” in your vision and can result in significant visual impairment.

Signs & Symptoms

Keratoconus typically first appears in individuals who are in their late teens or early twenties, and may progress for 10-20 years and then slow or stabilize. Each eye may be affected differently. In the early stages of keratoconus, people might experience:


  • Slight blurring of vision

  • Distortion of vision

  • Increased sensitivity to light

  • Excessive eye rubbing

The cornea is responsible for focusing most of the light that comes into the eye. Therefore, abnormalities of the cornea, such as keratoconus, can have a major impact on how an individual sees the world, making simple tasks such as driving a car or reading a book very difficult.

What Is iLink™ Corneal Cross-Linking?

iLink™ corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that combines the use of ultraviolet light and specially formulated eye drops to stiffen and strengthen corneas that have been weakened by disease or refractive surgery. Cross-linking is considered the standard of care around the world for progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery.

Is Cross-Linking Right for Me?

Patients who have been diagnosed with progressive keratoconus or corneal ectasia following refractive surgery should ask their doctor about iLink™ corneal cross-linking.

Our practice is proud to offer patients the first and only FDA-approved therapeutic solution for the treatment of progressive keratoconus. Now, patients who once had little to no therapeutic option to treat keratoconus have the opportunity to slow or halt the progression of this sight-threatening disease.

For more information about the iLink™ procedure for the treatment of keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery, visit

Corneal Cross-Linking FAQs

Am I awake during the procedure?
Yes, typically you will be awake during the treatment. You may be given relaxing medication and numbing anesthetic drops.

How long does the procedure take?
The actual procedure takes about an hour, but you will be at the office for approximately 2 hours to allow sufficient time for preparation and recovery before you return to the comfort of your own home.

What can I expect during the procedure?
• After numbing drops are applied, the epithelium (the thin layer on the surface of the cornea) is gently removed
• Photrexa® Viscous eye drops will be applied to the cornea for at least 30 minutes
• Depending on the thickness of your cornea, Photrexa® drops may also be required
• The cornea is then exposed to UV light for 30 minutes while additional Photrexa ® Viscous drops are applied

What can I expect after the procedure?
• You should not rub your eyes for the first 5 days after the procedure
• You may notice a sensitivity to light and an uncomfortable sensation in the treated eye. Sunglasses may help with light sensitivity
• If you experience severe pain in the eye or any sudden decrease in vision, you should contact your physician immediately
• If your bandage contact lens from the day of treatment falls out or becomes dislodged, you should not replace it. Contact your physician immediately

Is iLink™ right for me?
Patients who have been diagnosed with progressive keratoconus should ask their doctor
whether they may be an appropriate candidate for iLink ™ corneal cross-linking.

Learn more about Corneal Cross-Linking, and what to expect during and after the procedure.
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