Understanding the Common Treatment procedures for Keratoconus

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Although eyeglasses and soft contact lenses can be useful when dealing with keratoconus, it may get to a point where a surgical procedure is necessary to halt the progress. For a mild form of keratoconus, a patient’s vision can be improved using contact lenses.

However, if you want to prevent further thinning of the cornea, other advanced procedures such as cornea transplant or cross-linking may be necessary.

Let’s look at some of the procedures applied for treating keratoconus:


Corneal Collagen Cross-linking (CXL): The corneal collagen cross-linking otherwise commonly known as corneal cross-linking is a procedure used to strengthen the corneal tissue so as to prevent further bulging of the eye’s surface caused by keratoconus. This procedure may involve either epithelium-off or epithelium-on.

Epithelium-off crosslinking involves the removal of the outer layer of the cornea also known as the epithelium. This procedure is done to allow entry of riboflavin, a type of B vitamin, into the cornea. When activated with UV light, riboflavin helps to prevent further damage to the eye’s surface.

On the other hand, Epithelium-off crosslinking also know as transepithelial crosslinking does not involve the removal of the corneal epithelium. in this case, the epithelium is left intact to decrease the chances of infection and discomfort to the patient as well as improve the recovery time.

However, because the epithelium is not removed, it takes time for riboflavin to penetrate into the cornea. Corneal cross-linking is particularly good for treating keratoconus; especially progressive mild to moderate keratoconus.


Intacs: This is arc-shaped corneal inserts that are surgically placed within the peripheral cornea. This procedure is done with the sole aim of reshaping the front surface of the eye for clearer vision. Intacs are usually preferred when contact lenses or eyeglasses can no longer provide functional vision for a keratoconus patient.

Another good aspect of intacs is that they can be removable and exchangeable and the procedure takes only about 10 minutes.

However, intacs isn’t doesn’t always guarantee long-term results. A patient may still need a corneal transplant if the condition continues to progress.


Topography-guided conductive keratoplasty: Topography-guided conductive keratoplasty otherwise known as CK is a procedure used to reshape the eye’s front surface. The treatment involves the use of energy waves, applied to several points around the corners of the cornea.

To do this, special technology is used to create a topographic map of the eye’s surface. CK can be helpful for reducing irregularities in the corneal surface.


Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK or PKP): Penetrating keratoplasty (PK or PKP) commonly known as cornea transplant is often applied to correct advanced keratoconus. Cornea transplant involves a surgical procedure and can help reduce the dependence of contact lenses or eyeglasses. Although in some cases, a patient may still need to wear contact lenses for a more functional vision.

Need more information about the best treatment procedure for keratoconus, please visit Spanish Eye Clinic today. We are a reliable and experienced eye clinic in Dubai and offer high-quality services using modern and advanced technologies, and safe environment.

Our team of ophthalmologists are the best in Dubai and will surely help you to find an optimal solution to your eye condition.

+971 4 324 3244