Jenks Eye Doctor | Corneal Cross-linking

Welcome to Insight Eyecare with Dr. Kyle Tate, your Jenks Eye Doctor. Today I will be talking about a groundbreaking surgery called corneal cross-linking. This is a really exciting procedure that we’ve been wanting here in the United States for about 10 years now even though it has been performed successfully in the rest of the country for about 20 years. So, if you know anybody with a corneal disease such as keratoconus reach out to us at Insight Eye care, your Jenks eye doctor. We treat patients of all ages. We see the newborn baby eye exams, kids eye exams, child eye exams, all the way up to grandparents and seniors. We offer everything from basic eye exams and contact lens fits of all complexities, we also treat eye injuries. We treat many common diseases like pinkeye, watery eyes and many others. Insight Eye care is located 1 mile south off of the Creek Turnpike and Highway 75 near the Glenpool Walmart. Located within our clinic is a large optical boutique with over 1000 eyeglasses to meet all your wants and needs. We partner with the finest to give you the best vision possible in your glasses. Our team at Insight Eye care wants to be your Jenks Eye Doctor for all your eye care and eyewear needs.
Corneal cross-linking is a procedure that strengthens the cornea, or front part of the eyeball. The cornea is the clear layer that focuses the image. In some patients, usually due to genetics, the cornea will twist causing blurry vision that glasses cannot correct. In these patients, their corneas usually worsen over time. This disease process occurs and then worsens because the main layer that makes up the clear cornea on the front of the eye is too soft and thin. The reason corneal cross-linking is such an exciting procedure is because it strengthens that layer in order to stop the disease from progressing, and in some cases, we can actually slightly improve it. In fact, we have documented cases where patient’s eyes improved enough post corneal cross-linking that they no longer needed special contacts, also known as medically necessary contacts.
The ideal patient for corneal cross-linking is someone who is diagnosed at an early stage of the disease. Ideally, we want to perform corneal cross-linking on these patients before the cornea worsens and the disease begins to affect their quality of life. Remember the types of diseases that get this corneal problem where corneal cross-linking would be most beneficial are mainly keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, and significant scarring from RK surgery. Ideally that age would be someone in their mid-20s to early 30s. Men are more likely to develop these diseases than woman.
The procedure is fairly pain-free and simple. After the patient has had all the necessary evaluations and discussed the risks and benefits and has agreed to the procedure the patient is brought in and their eyes are numbed with eyedrops. Now there’s one step in the beginning that is debated and asked whether the service layer of the cornea is left on or removed. Personally, my medical opinion is we may as well have that removed because we do not want to perform the procedure multiple times if it grows back. After that layer is removed, specialized vitamin A based medication is used on the eye. They will put a drop on the eye about every 10 minutes and redo that every minute or two for about 20 to 25 minutes. Numbing drops will continue to be used to keep the patient comfortable. The second step of the procedure is the patient will get an intense UV light to the eyes for about 15 minutes. So, what is actually happening in this procedure is the vitamin A solution soaks deep into the tissue of the cornea and the UV light activates it creating collagen linking in the middle layer of the cornea to strengthen and bonds to keep it more rigid.
Remember, these diseases are happening because the eye is too soft and it becomes flexible. So, this corneal cross-linking procedure can prevent many complications with specialty fit medically necessary contacts, it can prevent scarring and it can prevent the need for corneal transplant surgery. Corneal transplant surgery is not as simple a transplant as others think. Many patients would assume that a corneal transplant is a procedure that is done and then once it’s done it is good, but the patient has to use eye drops daily for the rest of their life as well as have Eyecare every few months to make sure the corneal graft is safe.
So, if you know of anybody that has corneal disease such as keratoconus let us help them at Insight Eyec are. As your Jenks eye doctor, we are here to make sure that you know all your treatment options whether that is a medically necessary contact, or corneal cross-linking procedure. Our mission as your Jenks eye doctor is to improve every life at every encounter, that means we want all our patients to have healthy comfortable eyes with the best vision possible to view and enjoy life. When you think you need a Jenks eye doctor come to us at Insight Eyecare. We have an amazing state-of-the-art facility, a great staff and a very high-quality eyeglasses boutique. It’s all there to meet your needs as a patient at your Jenks eye doctor. Remember, we treat different types of eye disease such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration. As your Jenks eye doctor, we want you to bring us your irritated eyes and blurry vision so we can help improve your life. God bless you, and have a great day!