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Corneal Cross Linking Recovery, Success Rate, Pain, Side Effects


Corneal cross linking is the treatment strategy of disease named keratoconus. It is an eye disease. In keratoconus, the cornea of eye becomes thin and weak. Due to weakness, the cornea bulge out. Corneal cross linking is a technique in which the tissues of cornea are made strong via some special eye drops and ultraviolet radiation. Corneal cross linking technique helps to minimize bulging of cornea. Corneal cross linking works by adding special bonds between tissues of collagen. These special bonds holds cornea at a place. This process was 1st introduced in 2016 for the treatment of keratoconus. But now a days this is the only treatment option for keratoconus.

Corneal Cross Linking Recovery

Corneal cross linking have many types and it's recovery depends upon  the type of corneal cross linking used. Patient with epi-on can have painless recovery, and can recover even very next day from corneal cross linking. Patients with epi-off are different. Patients have painful recovery in this and recovery takes about a week. Several weeks are required for complete development of corneal epithelium. Doctors recommend to wear black glasses for at least a week with steroid and antibiotics for up to 2 weeks.

Corneal Cross Linking Recovery, Success Rate, Pain, Side Effects

Corneal Cross Linking Success Rate

Every type of corneal cross linking have different success rate. As in case of epi-off corneal cross linking, eyesight is worse at starting days and then it becomes okay after 6 to 12 months. Patient may experience poor vision for at least 3 months after surgery. Well, in case of epi-on corneal cross linking, vision regained from the very next day to surgery. The basic purpose of corneal cross linking is to stop the development of disease. In about 99 percent of people, epi-off corneal cross linking becomes worse and associated with more complications.

Corneal Cross Linking Side Effects

In both types of corneal cross linking, epi-off type cause problems. Some of the problems are as follows;

  • Swelling may occur in eye along with severe pain.
  • Patient have blurry vision and sometimes have hazy vision. It also cause further vision problems.
  • The epithelium and corneum get damaged.
  • An infection may occur in cornea of the eye.
  • These all are the main side effects of epi-off type of corneal cross linking. Usually the 2nd type of corneal cross linking I.e. epi-on type causes no side effects at all.

Corneal Cross Linking Pain

The pain level is also dependent on the type of corneal cross linking. In epi-on type of corneal cross linking, patient may experience no pain and have fast recovery. Patient can start his routine activities from the very next day of epi-on corneal cross linking. Well in case of epi-off corneal cross linking, patient feels generous pain at the site. Sometimes this pain becomes worse. This type of corneal cross linking also have slow healing process. It is more painful to have larger recovery time. So mostly epi-on type is recommended for patients.

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