Latest news reveals the development of new treatment for corneal disease called Keratoconus. This treatment is made by the researchers of Emory University in Atlanta. This special treatment is supposed to be a beneficial procedure for the patients as it stabilizes the cornea with reversing some of the other permanent changes in the integrity and curvature.
The treatment named Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking includes few step. First, giving the patients a topical anesthetic to avoid any discomfort during the procedure. Then a thin layer of cells is removed from the top of the cornea. Then drops containing riboflavin are placed into the eye. The strong>riboflavin saturates the cornea for 30 minutes. Then, the eye is exposed to ultraviolet A (UVA) light for 30 more minutes. The UVA light interacts with the riboflavin, causing the formation of chemical bonds (called cross-links) between the collagen molecules in the cornea. This causes the cornea to stiffen and makes it able to retain a rounder shape. Then after the finishing of the procedure a soft contact lens is placed in the eye to protect the cornea as it heals. The contact lens is removed after three to five days. As the cornea heals and stiffens, the curvature gradually improves. The beneficial effects of the procedure is that it takes only about a month to see any noticeable improvement.
This procedure now is waiting for FDA approval.
Keratoconus is a condition that affects the cornea, the transparent “window” over the eye. Normally, the cornea is round. As light hits the eye, the image is bent by the cornea and focused onto the retina, or light-sensitive membrane at the back of the eye. But in keratoconus, the cornea thins and becomes cone-shaped. The steeper pitched cornea changes the way light is refracted as it comes into the eye. Images don’t fall properly onto the retina, leading to changes in vision.
Symptoms: Patients in the beginning of the condition notices a slight blurring or distortion of images. They may also notice a sensitivity to light, difficulties seeing clearly at night, eye strain, headaches and reading difficulties. The condition tends to progress slowly for 10 to 20 years and then often stabilizes. In severe cases, scars can form at the peak of the corneal cone and impair vision further.
The National Keratoconus Foundation estimates about one in 2,000 Americans have keratoconus. Symptoms most commonly appear in teens and young adults. About 13 percent of patients have a family history of the condition.