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Corneal Cross-Linking

Diagram showing less vs more cross-linking in the cornea.

Treatment for Progressive Keratoconus

Corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive procedure to treat progressive keratoconus, a condition in which the cornea thins and bulges into a cone-like shape, causing vision distortion. iLink FDA approved epi-off cross-linking combines the use of prescription eye drops, Photrexa® Viscous, Photrexa®, and ultra-violet A (UVA) light from the KXL® system. This combination promotes the creation of new collagen bonds, reinforcing the cornea’s structure and preventing further deterioration.

What to Expect with Corneal Cross-Linking

The goal of the procedure is to slow or prevent further progression of the condition and preserve vision.

  • Halting Disease Progression: By strengthening the cornea, corneal cross-linking slows down or stops the progression of keratoconus. This can prevent the need for more invasive procedures, such as corneal transplantation, in the future.
  • Minimal Discomfort and Downtime: The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and typically takes about an hour. Patients may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity for a few days, but it is generally well-tolerated. Recovery time is relatively short compared to other surgical interventions.
  • Long-lasting Results: The effects of corneal cross-linking are long-lasting, providing patients with sustained stability in their vision over time.


iLink corneal cross-linking is most effective for patients with progressive keratoconus. Your eye care professional can evaluate your condition and determine if iLink corneal cross-linking may be right for you.

Typically, you will be awake and alert during the procedure but given relaxing medication as well as numbing eyedrops. Most patients report only light pressure during iLink.

While corneal cross-linking is generally safe, like any medical procedure, it carries some risks. Ulcerative keratitis, a potentially serious eye infection, can occur. Your doctor should monitor your resolution of epithelial defects if they occur. The most common ocular side effect is haze. Other ocular side effects include inflammation, fine white lines, dry eye, disruption of surface cells, eye pain, light sensitivity, reduced sharpness of vision, and blurred vision. The risk information provided here is not comprehensive. To learn more, talk to your healthcare provider. Go to to obtain the FDA-approved product labeling.

Following the iLink cross-linking procedure, go home and rest, taking care not to rub your eyes. You may experience light sensitivity as well as discomfort in the treated eye. Take any medications prescribed by your doctor and contact your doctor if you experience severe pain or any sudden decrease in vision. If your bandage contact lens falls out or moves out of position, you should contact your eye doctor immediately. Do not try to replace it yourself

The goal of iLink cross-linking is to slow or halt the progression of KC and prevent further vision loss. It may not eliminate the need for corrective eyewear. Your eye care professional will determine the appropriate vision correction options for you based on your individual needs.

The medical necessity of FDA-approved iLink corneal cross-linking has become widely recognized. As a result, the procedure is covered by over 95% of commercial insurance providers.

Take the First Step: Find Out if iLink May Be Right for You

If you’re ready to take control of your vision and slow or halt the progression of keratoconus, iLink corneal cross-linking could be the answer. Call us today to request your a consultation. Dr. Kenneth Himmel, our Corneal expert who specialize in this procedure. He will perform a comprehensive eye exam including advanced corneal imaging and topography in order to determine if you are a candidate for the iLink cross-linking procedure.

Corneal Cross-Linking Doctors