Corneal Cross-Linking at WEC
Keratoconus (or KC) is a progressive disease affecting the outer-most layer of the eye (the cornea), causing permanent blurred vision and sensitivity to light at night (presence of glare or haloes). Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL) is an established surgical procedure. It was first introduced to Ireland by the Wellington Eye Clinic in January 2007 and is mainly used to treat keratoconus. The standard treatment takes one hour, although recent trials at the Wellington Eye Clinic have reduced treatment time to 40 minutes. The aim of CXL is to stop the progression of keratoconus by stiffening the corneal tissue through the use of UV-A light and riboflavin (vitamin B2). By halting the progression, a patient’s vision can be prevented from deteriorating and on occasion contact lenses can be worn in order to obtain normal vision.
The annual Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL) experts meeting, the most recent being held in Zurich Switzerland in December 2016, is no doubt my favourite conference of the year. With an average of 200 attendees, the two day congress is filled with the latest clinical and research findings on how to treat keratoconus, ectasia or corneal infection with CXL in the most efficient and painless method possible.
Epi-on or Epi-off? How much riboflavin to apply? What is the role of oxygen during the procedure? CXL with refractive surgery? Is it safe to treat children? These questions we discussed are only the tip of the iceberg of topics covered.
I have been studying CXL since 2010, and will hopefully finish my PhD in the coming months. So when I spend two days talking to the world’s leading researchers and surgeons in the field of CXL, it makes me appreciate how much the Wellington Eye Clinic contributes to research. And to be frank, we also want to improve the treatment and patient’s visual outcomes as much as everyone else in the field. Mr. Arthur Cummings, together with Dr Mazen Sinjab, recently published a book on CXL and I had the pleasure of contributing to. The book is now available and adds significant knowledge to the CXL space. (Corneal Collagen Cross Linking – Springer)
Rebecca McQuaid MSc