Corneal Cross-Linking in Bloomington, MN

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About Corneal Cross-Linking

In patients with keratoconus, the shape of the cornea becomes altered due to the weakening of links between corneal fibers. This process works similarly to how a sweater can unravel and lose its shape if the threads break apart.

To address keratoconus, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu is pleased to offer patients a groundbreaking new method known as corneal cross-linking. Also called UV riboflavin CXL, corneal cross-linking treats keratoconus by increasing the strength of the fibers in the cornea. The procedure is done by combining riboflavin (Vitamin B2) eye drops and then activating the solution with exposure to UV light. This process stimulates the development of internal collagen fibrils to help the cornea maintain its dome shape.

Chu Vision Institute is proud to have been part of FDA clinical trials for corneal cross-linking. Our team is highly skilled and experienced in performing this treatment to improve your vision and eye health. Contact our office in Bloomington, MN to schedule a consultation.

Is CXL Right for Me?

Typical candidates for corneal cross-linking are individuals aged 14 or older who have keratoconus. Although this procedure can be performed on patients of any age, many experts agree that treatment in young patients usually produces improved vision and lasting results. Early intervention is ideal because younger individuals typically have not experienced as much disease progression as adults. To determine if corneal cross-linking is a good fit for you, Dr. Chu will perform a full eye examination, as well as review your medical history and progression of your condition.

How Cross-Linking Is Performed

Corneal cross-linking is done as an outpatient procedure at Chu Surgery Center, located on-site in Bloomington, MN. To begin, we will apply anesthetic eye drops to fully numb your eyes during the procedure. Next, Dr. Chu will place the Vitamin B2 drops into your eyes and give them about 15 – 30 minutes to absorb. After that, he will expose your eyes to an ultraviolet light. Since the drops contain a photo-enhancing substance, they will become activated by producing specialized molecules of oxygen with they come in contact with the UV rays. This way, collagen fibers are able to form inside the cornea, strengthening its shape to prevent or slow the future progression of structural weakening associated with keratoconus.

What to Expect after CROSS-LINKING

After your CXL procedure, we will place a protective contact lens over each of your treated eyes. Dr. Chu may provide you with a prescription for antibiotic eye drops that you will need to use during your recovery. The healing phase following corneal cross-linking surgery should last about 3 – 5 days, during which your treated eyes may have some temporary irritation and sensitivity to light. Some patients report gaining some improved vision about a week after their CXL treatment, but this can vary among individuals. Improvements can continue for up to a year after the procedure. Until the cornea has fully adjusted, you may notice a frequently changing eyeglass prescription.

Treat Keratoconus

With the advanced corneal cross-linking (CXL) technique, it is possible to strengthen the fibers within the cornea to preserve its shape. This innovative procedure can protect the eye health and vision of individuals who have keratoconus. In some patients, CXL can be effective in preventing the need for a future corneal transplant. If you are seeking treatment for keratoconus in the Bloomington, MN area, contact Chu Vision Institute for more information.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.