Keratoconus Chicago | The Center for Corrective Eye Surgery

Mercy Center For Corrective Eye Surgery and LASIK in Chicago

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 5400 West Elm St, Suite 120, McHenry, Il 60050
8780 West Golf Rd., Suite 304, Niles, IL 60174

Chicago Area LASIK Experts

Crosslinking (CXL)

A New Sight Saving Treatment Under FDA Protocol at The Center for Corrective Eye Surgery


Keratoconus is an eye disease in which the cornea becomes cone shaped. Vision worsens as progressively stronger eyeglass prescriptions do not fully correct vision. The problem is a weakness in the structure of the front eye wall.

Crosslinking (CXL)

To strengthen the cornea and stop keratoconus progression a single office treatment with low dose UV light and eye drops of riboflavin (vitamin B2) is under US FDA clinical trials. The process, called crosslinking and abbreviated CXL, causes a structural change in the cornea. The treatment, created in Switzerland, has been performed since 1998 outside the U.S.

Who should check out CXL?

If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, you should learn more about CXL. Call 1-800-I-CAN-SEE (422-6733) or click on

Does keratoconus get worse?

Without treatment, generally vision worsens in people with keratoconus.

What does CXL do?

The purpose of CXL is to prevent further deterioration of the cornea and the vision from keratoconus.

The vitamin B2 and low dose UV light produce a chemical change in the clear skeleton of the cornea. The process makes new structural bonds. The effect, shown in over 100 medical journal articles, is to prevent further structural collapse of the cornea.

What are other treatments?

Besides contact lenses to cover over the diseased, irregular cornea, there is a treatment called Intacs.

Intacs are tiny arc-shaped plastic braces that are surgically placed within the cornea to reshape the cornea. Intacs are FDA approved for keratoconus and may improve vision by making the cornea more round again. Intacs insertion is done with just eye drop anesthesia and mild calming sedation. It is done in the office-based surgery center where lasik is performed.

In cases where the disease has progressed too far, corneal transplantation can be done. That is a successful procedure done in the hospital. But visual recovery from corneal transplantation takes nearly a year, rejection is possible, and further treatment may be needed to maximize vision. Although the corneal donor is free of keratoconus, the base of the patient’s cornea into which the donor was transplanted still has the keratoconus weakness.

Both Intacs insertion and corneal transplantation also are performed atThe Center for Corrective Eye Surgery.

Crosslinking (CXL) may help prevent further change in eye shape from keratoconus after treatment by Intacs insertion or corneal transplantation.

Learn more about keratoconus treatment options by downloading the brochure below.

Keratoconus Treatment Options

Further information

For further information on how you can get treatment for keratoconus, call Dr. Epstein at 1-800-I-CAN-SEE (422-6733) or go to the website