A new application of corneal cross linking (CXL), a treatment previously used for treating keratoconus has been shown to be effective in treating infectious corneal ulcers.
Indian specialists initially treated 6 eyes with the procedure before the favourable results prompted them to expand the study to 31 eyes. Initial treatment was with conventional antibiotics but after 2 weeks and where the eye was not healing properly CXL was performed. All except 2 eyes showed a positive response to the crosslinking procedure.
Crosslinking is a relatively new procedure where special drops of riboflavin are instilled into the eye and then activated by controlled exposure to UV light. The riboflavin increases the cross linking between the fibres of collagen that make up the cornea strengthening it. It is a little like the process of tanning leather and happens naturally throughout life. In conditions like keratoconus the eye is more fragile and begins to become misshapen and research has shown cross linking can halt the progression of the condition by strengthening the cornea.