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FDA approves cornea treatment for Keratoconus

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) for treating progressive thinning and distortion of the cornea which causes keratoconus in some people. A combined therapy of ultraviolet light and eye drops is used to strengthen the collagen fibers in the cornea. Patients suffering with keratoconus have too few collagen fiber cross-links and the low number of cross-links cause the cornea to "bulge" which in turn creates blurred and distorted vision, which prescription glasses are often not able to correct. Significant vision loss can occur which leads to the need to perform corneal transplant surgery. While CXL is new to the United States, it has had widespread use outside the U.S. for several years. The FDA approval comes after three year-long studies. Eyedrops are instilled and then a special type of ultraviolet light is shined on the cornea. This "dynamic duo" of treatments increases the collagen cross-links and prevents the cornea from bulging further, although the condition is not reversed.*

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