Corneal Collagen Cross-linking with Riboflavin (C3-R)
A new non surgical, non invasive treatment, based on collagen cross linking with Ultraviolet A (UVA, 365nm) and riboflavin (Vitamin B 2), a photosensitizing agent is now available. This changes the intrinsic biomechanical properties of the cornea, increasing its mechanical strength. This increase in corneal strength has shown to arrest the progression of keratoconus. This new treatment has shown great success, a one-time application of riboflavin eye drops to the eye. The riboflavin, when activated by approximately 30 minutes illumination with UV-A light, augments the collagen cross-links within the stroma and so recovers some of the cornea’s mechanical strength.
The treatment is performed in operation theater under complete sterile conditions. Usually, only one eye is treated in one sitting. The treatment is performed under topical anesthesia (using anesthetic eye drops). The surface of the eye (cornea) is treated with application of Riboflavin eye drops for 30 minutes. The eye is then exposed to UVA light for 30 minutes. Hence, the treatment takes about an hour per eye. After the treatment, antibiotic eye drops are applied; a bandage contact lens may be applied, which will be removed by the doctor during the follow up visit. Protective eye wear, such as sunglasses is to be worn for a few days until complete healing takes place.
For people with vision problems, contact lenses remain an effective, almost invisible tool. The thin plastic lenses are fitted over the cornea of the eye to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
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