A New Treatment for Keratoconus: Corneal Cross Linking


SoCal Eye is proud to announce the launch Corneal Collagen Cross Linking (CXL), a new procedure for conditions of the Cornea including Keratoconus and Ectasia. The addition of this important capability places SoCal Eye amongst a select group of Ophthalmology practices in the United States.

What Is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus, often referred to as ‘KCN’, is a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the typically round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins and weakens, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped surface of the eye that is largely responsible for the eye’s focusing power. Under normal circumstances, the cornea must remain clear and perfectly shaped for the correct transmission and focusing of light and images onto the retina. This change in shape brings light rays out of focus and results in the vision becoming blurry and distorted, making daily tasks like reading or driving more difficult.

Introducing Corneal Cross Linking – A New Treatment for Keratoconus

Traditionally, moderate cases of Keratoconus were treated with prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses and severe cases of Keratoconus were treated with Corneal Transplants, where the damaged cornea is replaced with a cornea from a human donor. As KCN is a progressive disease, there was never a permanent solution until Corneal Cross Linking was approved by the FDA. Today this procedure represents a very significant advancement in the treatment of Keratoconus and SoCal Eye is one of the few Ophthalmology practices in Southern California to make it available.   Dr. Allison Jarstad joined SoCal Eye in the summer of 2019 and as a cornea fellowship trained ophthalmologist she brought her expertise in corneal cross linking to the practice.

What Is Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking?

Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is the standard of care for the treatment of early to moderate Keratoconus or Ectasia.1 It is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that combines eye drops and ultra-violet A (UVA) light to strengthen a weakened or irregular shaped cornea. In keratoconus and corneal ectasia, disease or previous eye surgery can weaken the collage in the cornea, causing it to lose its shape and begin to bulge. It is the corneal collagen that holds the cornea in its “normal” shape. After the cross-linking procedure, collagen fibers in the cornea are “cross-linked” with stronger covalent bonds to increase the strength and stability of the cornea.  (I would remove the last sentence “this is achieved with a combination of Riboflavin (Vitamin B) eye drops and targeted UVA rays. )

The FDA Approved iLink Cross Linking procedure is performed more than 60,000 times per year but is only offered at 600 practices in the United States. SoCal Eye is one of the few Ophthalmology practices to offer this procedure in Southern California and the only practice in Long Beach.

All treatment begins with a Consultation with a SoCal Eye Cornea Specialist in Long Beach. For Keratoconus Treatment in Long Beach, Schedule an Appointment today at LAKEWOOD (562) 531-2020  | LOS ALAMITOS (562) 598-7728  or send us an Online Consultation Request