What is Corneal Cross Linking?

Corneal Cross Linking (CXL) is a treatment that strengthens and stabilizes the corneal collagen. The cornea is the clear

“wind shield” of the eye that we look through and is made up of primarily collagen. Our bodies naturally “cross link” our

collagen as part of the normal aging process over several years of our life. The CXL treatment just accelerates that normal

aging change to help stabilize the corneal collagen in patients who have degenerative cornea diseases such as keratoconus,

corneal ectasia and pellucid marginal degeneration.


Am I a candidate for Corneal Cross Linking (CXL)?

In order to decide if Corneal Cross Linking (CXL) would benefit you, a complete corneal evaluation needs to be scheduled. At that visit, the doctor will be able to determine if you truly need CXL and discuss with you the treatment and recovery. It is critical to have 2-3 years of previous examination records from your doctor with you for your appointment. In order to proceed with CXL and gain approval with your medical insurance company we will need those records to establish proof that your condition is progressing.

Guidelines for candidacy for CXL:

  1. FDA approved for patients aged 14-65 with the ability to cooperate during treatment

  2. Historical examination evidence of progressive corneal ectatic changes

    1. This information can be found in previous yearly examination records from your eye doctor

    2. This information must be available in order to get medical insurance approval for the procedure

Contraindications for CXL:

  1. Corneal pachymetry (thickness) must be greater than 400 microns

  2. No history of prior herpectic eye disease

  3. Severe ocular surface disease

  4. Autoimmune disorders

  5. Significant corneal scarring

  6. Pregnant or breastfeeding


Moyes Eye Center uses the Avedro KXL system for our cross linking procedures. The Avedro system is the first and only FDA approved cross linking technology used in the treatment of keratoconus and other ectatic corneal disorders.


What is the main goal of Cross Linking?

The #1 goal of corneal cross linking is to stabilize and halt the progression of degenerative corneal disease and eliminate the need of a corneal transplant. Corneal cross linking will not eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. Stabilization is achieved in nearly 90% of treatments and patients are able to continue their current modality of vision correction whether it be soft or hard contact lenses or even glasses.

Corneal cross linking can not reverse the changes that have already occurred which is why identifying and treating sooner rather than later is so important in order to keep vision as good as possible.