Corneal cross linking & KERATOCONUS IN BIRMINGHAM
KERATOCONUS & Ectasia
Corneal cross linking (CXL) is a treatment to stop deteriorating vision caused by keratoconus & ectasia. Keratoconus & ectasia are are caused by a weakness of the cornea & eye rubbing. The result is high astigmatism & distorted vision.
Cost of corneal cross linking for keratoconus
£1795 per eye
The price of the corneal cross linking includes eye drops for a month after the treatment & follow up appointments for 6 months in Birmingham.
Mark Wevill is an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) & eye surgeon who has specialised in treating vision disorders including keratoconus with corneal cross linking. He has been correcting vision in eye clinics in Birmingham & the West Midlands for over 20 years. If you would like to discuss keratoconus & corneal cross linking with Mark & to see if we can help you, then please book a consultation. And please don’t rub your eyes.
Keratoconus: The condition & causes
Keratoconus means “cone shaped cornea”. Keratoconus usually starts in your late teens or early twenties & usually gets worse, especially during pregnancy. Your astigmatism gets worse as your cornea becomes progressively more cone shaped. The keratoconus may become difficult to correct with glasses & a special contact lens may become necessary.
We don’t understand completely why some people develop keratoconus or ectasia, but we do know who is at risk.
- Youth: Keratoconus usually starts in your teenage years.
- Genetics: Some people who have keratoconus in the family or who have certain conditions such as Down’s syndrome are predisposed to keratoconus.
- Eye allergies & inflammation: Severe or long term eye allergies & inflammation in childhood or as a teenager can weaken the cornea & cause keratoconus.
- Behavioural: Chronic eye rubbing can distort & weaken the cornea & cause keratoconus. And sleeping with your eye pressed into the pillow also causes keratoconus or ectasia.
- Surgery or other injuries to the cornea such as laser eye surgery. So, before laser eye surgery, detailed scans of our eyes are necessary to see if you will be at risk for ectasia after laser eye surgery & to see if you’re suitable for laser eye surgery.
You can’t do much about some of these risk factors, such as your genes. However you can prevent or even stop the progression of keratoconus by stopping rubbing your eyes. Please don’t rub your eyes. Your cornea is a soft, elastic structure & you distort it each time you rub. If you rub hard & often enough then the corneal distortion will become permanent, you will distort your vision & you will develop keratoconus & ectasia.
Treatment with corneal cross linking (CXL)
The progression of keratoconus can also be stopped & the distortion may be improved with corneal cross linking. The treatment is painless. Anaesthetic eye drops & Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) eyedrops are dropped onto your eye.
An ultraviolet light shines on your eye & links the big fibres in your cornea together with little links. The effect is similar to joining the big beams in a roof with smaller cross linked beams to stengthen & support the structure of the roof. Your cornea becomes stronger & the progressive weakening of your cornea can be stopped.
Corneal cross linking may reduce your astigmatism a litle. And cross linking may improve your vision with glasses a little. But cross linking does not correct vision & even with glasses your vision usually remains impaired by the corneal keratoconus. The goal of cross linking is to stop keratoconus getting worse, not to correct your vision. And of course, you must also avoid rubbing your eyes & avoid sleeping with your eye pressed into your pillow to stop the keratoconus & maximise the benefit of cross linking.
Please contact us to see if you’re suitable for cross linking & if your keratoconus progression can be stopped.