CrossLinking at North Suburban Eye Specialists


What is CrossLinking?

CrossLinking, or CXL, is used to increase the rigidness of the cornea’s surface by inducing additional cross-links within or between collagen fibers. By using UV-A light, riboflavin and photomediator, CXL can help slow, stabilize and perhaps even reverse the progression of corneal ectasia and keratoconus.


What is Keratoconus?

Your cornea is the clear, dome-shaped tissue that covers the front of your eye. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to control or focus the light. Over time, your cornea can start to thin out and eventually bulge into a cone-like shape. This condition is called Keratoconus, and it can make the controlling and focusing of light very difficult for one’s eye. As a result, vision may become hazy and distorted, making everyday tasks like reading and driving difficult.


What is the CXL process?

During the treatment, liquid riboflavin will be applied to the surface of the eye to help saturate the cornea. Afterwards, ultraviolet light activates the drops and increases the amount of collagen in the eye and strengthens the cornea. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete.


While this procedure does not cure keratoconus, it aims to stop the progression of the condition and help prevent further damage to the cornea and the need for a corneal transplant. CXL does not treat near or far sightedness and the need for glasses or contacts will still be needed.



Corneal collagen cross-linking is the only method designed to stop the progression of keratoconus. In fact, it is the preferred method for targeting the stromal instability. As a popular treatment worldwide, patients will experience the expected reduction in the need for donor keratoplasty.


What can CXL be used for?

Corneal Ectasia, Keratoconus, and post-LASIK Ectasia.