FDA-Approved Corneal Cross Linking Therapy for the Treatment of Progressive Keratoconus
JACKSON, Mich. – June 11, 2020 – Specialty Eye Institute is now offering the first and only corneal cross linking treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery. These two progressive and sight-threatening eye conditions affect more than 160,000 Americans. Specialty Eye Institute is proud to bring this exciting technology and treatment option to their patients here in Michigan.
Keratoconus & Corneal Ectasia
Keratoconus is a corneal disease that creates a thinning of the cornea or the clear front surface of the eye. Normal outward pressure within the eye causes the cornea to progressively bulge into a cone-like shape that produces optical irregularities that affect vision. A rare condition, keratoconus typically appears in individuals who are in their late teens or early twenties. Early symptoms include blurring or distortion of vision or increased sensitivity to light. Corneal ectasia, also marked by progressive corneal steepening and thinning, is a rare but serious complication resulting from vision correction procedures—such as laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and is associated with worsening vision.
Many patients in the past with keratoconus had to undergo a cornea transplant if the disease continued to progress. Corneal cross-linking is effective in halting the progression of keratoconus and corneal ectasia.
What Is Corneal Cross Linking?
“Corneal cross-linking is the only proven way to stabilize keratoconus and we are thrilled to be able to offer this procedure for our patients,” states Kevin Lavery, M.D., Cataract & Refractive Specialist at Specialty Eye Institute.
Corneal cross-linking using Avedro’s Photrexa products and KXL System is a medical procedure that combines the use of ultra-violet (UV) light and riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops. The procedure works by creating new corneal collagen cross-links, which results in a shortening and thickening of collagen fibrils that leads to the stiffening the cornea. Cross-linking, which has been performed in Europe since 2003, is considered the standard of care around the world for keratoconus and corneal ecstasia following refractive surgery.
Is Corneal Cross Linking Covered By Insurance?
“The corneal cross-linking procedure using riboflavin is the first and only FDA approved therapeutic treatment for patients with progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery. This can possibly save a patient from a more invasive corneal transplant procedure and is now covered by many insurance plans,” states Luis Gago, M.D., Cataract & Refractive Specialist at Specialty Eye Institute.