FDA Approves Cross-Linking

Since 2008, the Foundation has participated in an industry-sponsored study to evaluate a treatment for those suffering from keratoconus and post-LASIK ectasia called Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking. In addition, we provided our own physician-sponsored study in order to allow more patients access to the treatment.
In both conditions, the surface of the cornea weakens causing the eye to protrude outward resulting in astigmatism and severe visual distortion (figure 1 below).  With cross-linking (figure 2), vitamin B drops are placed on the cornea and a UV light shines on the eye for a specified period of time. This combination essentially “ages” the cornea which can stop the progression of this outward bulging. It generally doesn’t improve vision, but it helps to keep it from worsening.
We are proud to share that we provided cross-linking for more than 500 patients and our participation has resulted in FDA approval—now insurance companies are slowly deciding on coverage and doctors can provide it without a study. It is great to see this shift towards coverage because   often patients traveled from out-of-state because it wasn’t available locally and paid study expenses out of pocket.
We are currently conducting a follow-up survey study to assess long-term visual outcomes and patient satisfaction with cross-linking to help improve patient selection and management of future cross-linking recipients across the country.
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