Therapy: resort to corneal cross-linking for an effective treatment of keratoconus
In its initial phases the visual defect generated by keratoconus can be corrected by using glasses, soft or hard contact lenses or, in more advanced cases, custom-made contact lenses. When the central areas of the cornea are transparent, resorting to conservative techniques is always a good solution. The most recent therapy for the treatment of keratoconus is cross-linking, which strengthens the collagen fibres that form the cornea through the instillation of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and the consequent radiation of the ocular surface with an ultraviolet ray laser that activates the drugs. The treatment is carried out with topical anaesthesia (collyrium drops) and lasts approximately 40 minutes. A soft contact lens is applied after the operation if the epithelium is removed. In more advanced cases, the femtoseconds laser can be used for the implantation of intrastromal segments (intracorneal rings), which are invisible to the naked eye. They should restore a more physiological form by reducing the deformation and the irregularities of the central area of the cornea. The operation usually improves vision of the naked eye and vision through glasses or contact lenses. In worst cases you have to resort to partial or total transplantation of the corneal rim.