Do you or a loved one have keratoconus? If you do, you know firsthand the frustrations of facing difficulty with your vision, contact lenses, changing prescriptions, and in the most advanced cases, even cornea transplants! While many advances in eye care have helped many other ocular diseases, keratoconus patients have had to sit and wait patiently for something that can help them.
It is now my pleasure to announce that in what may be one of the greatest research projects our center has yet participated in, we have been named one of the sites for an FDA clinical trial for a procedure known as “Collagen Crosslinking,” which is aimed specifically at patients with keratoconus. In this procedure, ultraviolet light is used in conjunction with a naturally occurring vitamin, riboflavin, to strengthen the molecular bonds in collagen, the principal substance found in the human cornea. In this way, patients who have weak corneas from keratoconus and other conditions, may have their corneas permanently strengthened, their vision improved, and may potentially avoid the need for a cornea transplant. Already in use internationally, collagen crosslinking has been found to be an effective form of treatment in this challenging and visually debilitating disease, and we will now be able to treat patients enrolled in the study on US soil. Once the FDA reviews and approves the procedure, collagen crosslinking will become widely available, and is expected to significantly reduce the suffering caused by keratoconus and related corneal disorders.
Please contact us if you need more information about this FDA clinical trial, and please let your friends and family know of our continued commitment to bring the science of vision care to our patients through research and clinical innovation. When it comes to our patients’ vision, we are tireless in seeking solutions to improve sight.
Robert P. Rivera, MD