Keratoconus is an inherited condition presenting in the teen years that causes the dome shaped transparent front window of the eye to change shape over time.
It becomes distorted and can severely limit the patients vision although contact lenses (both soft and rigid) can help vision initially. In the past we were forced to watch helplessly as patients vision gradually deteriorated over time and eventually required a corneal graft to help stabilise the vision. Thankfully, this has all changed now with the revolution of cross-linking, first discovered in Dresden, Germany.
Crosslinking literally helps build small bridges between the tiny layers of collagen fibres in the cornea. It does this by using UV A light which activates riboflavin (added to the cornea topically during the procedure) to help stiffen the cornea. Very similar to an old tyre stiffening under a relentless sun!
Cross-linking is able to halt further progression of the condition in many cases but can not recover the vision already lost. It is very important to find out if you are a candidate for this Medicare re-imbursed procedure as it may prevent the need for a corneal transplant later.
Ground breaking work performed in Belfast under Professor Johnny Moore has shown a safe technique which helps prevent limbal stem cell damage from the effects of crosslinking. Dr De Wit worked in Germany and attended lectures on crosslinkingin Dresden by Professor Theo Seiler – the inventor of the procedure. Dr De Wit employs the protective safe technique he learnt in Belfast to make sure no harm to your eye now or in future can be attributed to crosslinking.