A new Keratoconus treatment called corneal crosslinking shows great promise in the treatment of this visual condition, according to Dr. John Henahan of Spectrum Eyecare in Peachtree City.
Keratoconus is a progressive condition that results in poor vision and usually requires a person to wear uncomfortable hard contact lenses for any degree of visual clarity.
To understand this condition it is helpful to think of the eye as being like a camera. The main focusing lens of the eye is called the cornea. For most of us, the cornea is a smooth regular shape, much like a nice camera lens. For patients with keratoconus, the cornea is weak and develops a bulge just below center that results in a distorted image being transmitted through the eye. As a result, everything looks blurry. Even worse, regular glasses and soft contact lenses do not provide adequate clarity. The only option has been wearing hard contact lenses, or in advanced cases, surgery. Both have substantial drawbacks. Hard contact lenses are less comfortable and can result in corneal scarring in some patients. Corneal transplant surgery is a major operation that takes many months to recover from, as well as carrying the risk of transplant rejection and infection.
At Spectrum Eyecare in Peachtree City, Dr. Henahan is collaborating with Doyle Stulting, MD, PhD to enroll patients in this exciting study that has shown excellent results in stabilizing and often improving the bulging of the cornea in patients with keratoconus. Dr. Stulting has joined with Woolfson Eye Institute in a unique collaboration of academic research and private practice service to expand the reach of this exciting study.
Corneal cross-linking is a non-invasive treatment using riboflavin and a special type of ultra-violet light to stimulate the cornea into strengthening itself. As the cornea strengthens itself, it resists (and in some cases begins to reverse) the bulge that forms in due to the weakness inherent in the cornea in patients with keratoconus.
To be eligible for the study, the patient must have keratoconus without significant corneal scarring. If you or a loved one suffer from keratoconus, I urge you to contact us or Dr. Stulting to be evaluated for potential inclusion in this study. I you live outside the metro- Atlanta area, this article has a list of participating centers.