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Treatment for Keratoconus: iLink Cross-linking

Keratoconus is a condition that affects the cornea (the clear outer layer of your eye). Normally a round dome shape, if the corneal tissue begins to thin, it can begin to bulge out into a cone shape. Because the shape of the cornea becomes distorted, your eyesight also becomes distorted because light will not focus properly on the retina (back of the eye).

Keratoconus usually affects people who are in their late teenage years or early 20s. This is a condition that affects 1 in 2,000 of the general population. The condition is hereditary in some cases. It may also be caused by an enzyme imbalance in the cornea that causes the corneal tissue to weaken.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

This condition can progress over a 10-20 year period and result in symptoms such as:

  • Vision distortion
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Irritation
  • Glare
  • Ghosting

This makes normal activities such as reading, watching TV, driving or working on a computer very difficult.

keratoconus graphic

Treatment Option

At Dakota Eye Institute, we are proud to offer keratoconus patients a non-invasive, therapeutic treatment for this condition: iLink Cross-linking in Bismarck. The FDA has approved corneal cross-linking to strengthen weak corneas caused by keratoconus – and ultimately save vision. It may also reduce the need for corneal transplants for some patients.

Good News: iLink is FDA-approved and covered by most medical insurance!

How the iLink Process Works

The iLink procedure is a two-step process to create new corneal collagen cross-links and strengthen the cornea. Your eyes are numbed prior to the procedure to block any feelings of discomfort.

  • Photrexa® bioactivated ophthalmic solution is applied to your cornea.
  • The eye is then exposed to ultraviolet light with ambient oxygen.

This combination has proven very effective in thickening the collagen fibrils and stiffening the cornea.

While not a cure for the disease, this keratoconus treatment has been effective in slowing or stopping the progression of the disease and helping preserve vision. Some patients may still need to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses to achieve their best vision possible.

If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, contact us today to schedule an eye exam with our keratoconus doctors in Bismarck and learn about this innovative treatment option.