The primary aim of cross-linking in ophthalmology is the treatment of keratoconus which is a deformation or excess bulging of the cornea. This method is also suitable for treating comparable corneal protrusions such as keratectasia or pellucid marginal degeneration.
The cross-linking treatment method stabilises the tissue. This is achieved by increasing the number of cross-links between the tissue fibres. The cross-linking is obtained with a combined treatment of UV radiation and Riboflavin eye drops.
Cross-linking is an innovative, recently-developed method which is used to perform corneal transplantations due to keratokonus. As the surface of the cornea is removed as is the case with PTK or PRK, patients may suffer from pain, sensitivity to light or dry eyes in the first days after treatment.
The tissue is stabilized with this treatment method. This is achieved by increasing the number of cross-links between the tissue fibers. A combination of UV irradiation with the use of riboflavin eye drops leads to this cross-linking.