Lighting the Way for Corneal Cross-Linking
The Light for Sight foundation provides ophthalmologists around the world with CXL training and ensures that no young patient must go without treatment
Nikki Hafezi |
At a Glance
- Keratoconus, a progressive disease that involves corneal thinning and bulging, affects a significant portion of the population, particularly in patients with Down syndrome
- The disease is best treated early, but a lack of screening and awareness often prevents this
- Light for Sight’s mission is to increase keratoconus awareness among healthcare providers and ensure that children and adolescents have access to treatment
- The foundation accomplishes this goal by making connections, providing training, and seeking industry support – an ongoing task
Keratoconus, the progressive thinning and bulging of the cornea, is one of the most common causes of severe visual impairment in young people. A disorder that affects as many as one in every 1,500 people, keratoconus can lead to focusing difficulties, higher-order aberrations and corneal scarring. But it’s possible to reduce the impact of this potentially debilitating disease with proper diagnosis and early corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) treatment to halt its progression. The best time to treat keratoconus is early in the disease, before significant changes in corneal shape and thickness take place – but to do this, we must overcome two obstacles: one, the lack of routine systematic screening for children and adolescents, and two, a lack of childhood keratoconus awareness among health care professionals.
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