What Is Corneal Cross-Linking?

Minimally Invasive Treatment

Cross-linking is a minimally invasive treatment for corneal ectasia, which is the deformation and bulging of the cornea's shape. It utilizes riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops and ultraviolet radiation to strengthen the cornea.

Strengthens a Weakened Cornea

The riboflavin eye drops, when exposed to a specialized ultraviolet light, promote the formation of new, stable collagen fiber cross-links within the cornea. By cross-linking corneal collagen, the effects of ectasia can be minimized.

Improves Vision Correction Opportunities

Cross-linking of corneal collagen may be the initial step in a vision correction therapy regimen. Patients can undergo procedures such as LASIK or PRK, or wear gas permeable contact lenses, if the cornea is strengthened.

Reasons to Undergo Corneal Cross-Linking

Cross-linking is recommended to treat the following corneal problems:


Keratoconus is a degenerative eye condition that weakens the cornea's structure. This can cause the naturally round cornea to expand into a cone shape over time. In the absence of treatment, the conical protrusion in the cornea may require a corneal transplant. The specific origins of keratoconus are still unknown, although frequent risk factors include inheritance, chronic eye irritation, and prolonged eye rubbing.

Post-LASIK/PRK Ectasia

This rare side effect of LASIK and PRK happens when the cornea becomes excessively thin after refractive surgery. In a manner similar to keratoconus, intraocular pressure causes the cornea to bulge outward. Changes are made to the surface and structure of the cornea during these laser eye procedures, which may affect its shape and stability. Vision distortion, eyestrain, and headaches can be caused by post-operative ectasia.

Keratoconus Symptoms



Poor night vision

Light sensitivity

Eye irritation

Eye strain/fatigue

Sudden worsening of vision

If you experience any of the above symptoms, be sure to speak with your eye doctor. Early detection and treatment of keratoconus can prevent the need for a corneal transplant.

Is Corneal Cross-Linking Right for Me?

If you have keratoconus or corneal thinning following LASIK, Dr. Miller and his staff can assist you. With minimally invasive cross-linking, we can strengthen and reshape defective corneas, thereby minimizing vision loss and enhancing the general health of your eyes.

Contact the Laser Vision Correction Center of New Jersey to learn more about corneal cross-linking treatment options.