Close up of healthy eye after corneal crosslinking

Corneal Cross-Linking

Do you have keratoconus and are looking for a conservative alternative to corneal transplant surgery?

Corneal cross-linking (CXL) can slow the progression of keratoconus, which may reduce the chances you'll have to undergo corneal surgery.

Patients across Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, and Rockwall, TX, come to Cornea Associates of Texas for CXL treatment. 

Corneal Cross-Linking Provides Much-Needed Support 

The front part of your eye is called the cornea, and it's normally strong and keeps its slightly rounded shape due to tiny connections between the corneal layers, much like the support beams in a house. However, when the eye is affected by keratoconus, there aren't enough of these connections, causing the cornea to bulge outward. Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is a procedure that adds more of these structural connections to the cornea. This makes the cornea stronger, stabilizes it, and slows the progression of keratoconus.

Support beams of a house
an eye with keratoconus

A Closer Look at Keratoconus

When someone has keratoconus, the cornea can become weak, thin, and shaped like a cone instead of staying round. This change in shape can interfere with your vision, causing blurry and distorted vision that calls for frequent updates to your prescription. While there isn't a cure for keratoconus, corneal collagen cross-linking is a technique that can help slow the progression of the disease.

How Common Is Keratoconus? 

Keratoconus is a common corneal disease that occurs in approximately 1/2000 Americans
It's also the leading cause of corneal transplantations. CXL slows the progression of keratoconus, which can improve your vision and possibly prevent the need for a corneal transplant in the future. 

Take a Look at the Process
of Corneal Cross-Linking

Cross-linking is an outpatient corneal procedure that can be performed in the comfort of the doctor's office. 
Cross-linking is an outpatient corneal procedure that can be performed in the comfort of the doctor's office. 

Numbing the Eye

Lubricant and numbing eye drops are administered before the cross-linking treatment to keep patients comfortable.

Administering the Vitamin

The cornea is treated with a solution of riboflavin, otherwise known as vitamin B2, which is activated by light to form microscopic connections or bonds within the cornea. The riboflavin is applied with the "Epi-Off" method, where surface cells of the epithelium are removed.

Waiting Period

Next, the cornea is soaked in the riboflavin solution for about 30 minutes while the patient lies on their back. Some patients may wish to bring headphones or earbuds to listen to music throughout the procedure as a way to help pass the time and relax. 

Activating the Solution

Once your ophthalmologist confirms that the cornea is saturated with riboflavin, a soft blue light is turned on to activate the solution. You'll look at this light for about 30 minutes to complete the procedure.

Healing From the Procedure

The healing process with Epi-Off treatment may cause discomfort to some people. 

Since surface cells are removed in Epi-Off CXL, a bandage contact lens (contact lenses without any power) will be placed in the eye to aid corneal healing and reduce pain. Typically, the contact lens can be removed in a week. Due to the healing process, only one eye is treated at a time.

"Professional and compassionate." Reviews From Greater Dallas, TX


Sylvia Greene

Fort Worth, TX


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Love Dr. Zaffos at Cornea Associates of Texas. He's been caring for my eyes for years in a most professional, compassionate way and explaining choices thoroughly and he has a great team of assistants!

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Judi Ratner

Dallas, TX


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Even though I needed to wait I did not mind at all because I had an issue and was getting ready to log out of town and they fit me in with Dr. Potts who I had never met before but who truly surprised me and I will come back to see him in the future.

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Eye doctors at Cornea Associates of Texas

Cornea Associates of Texas

Cornea Associates of Texas provides superior eye care from offices in Plano, Fort Worth, and Dallas, TX. Our doctors perform many surgical procedures, including LASIK surgery, PRK surgery, EVO ICL and cataract surgery. Our doctors are affiliated with several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American Medical Association
  • The American Board of Ophthalmology
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

To schedule a consultation with our team, please fill out our online form or call (214) 692-0146.

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