Charlotte Contact Lens Institute


Understanding Keratoconus and the Role of Cross-Linking in Treatment

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition characterized by the thinning and bulging of the cornea, resulting in visual distortion and impaired vision. While the exact cause of keratoconus remains unknown, genetic and environmental factors are believed to play a role. Thankfully, advancements in ophthalmology have led to various treatment options, with corneal cross-linking emerging as a promising technique.

Understanding Keratoconus

Keratoconus typically manifests during adolescence or early adulthood and gradually worsens over time. Common symptoms include blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, frequent prescription changes, and distorted or ghosted images. As the cornea loses its structural integrity, patients may experience difficulties in performing daily tasks and may even require specialized contact lenses or corneal transplant surgery.

The Role of Cross-Linking in Keratoconus

Corneal cross-linking (CXL) has revolutionized the treatment of keratoconus by halting the progression of the disease. This minimally invasive procedure involves applying riboflavin (vitamin B2) drops to the cornea, followed by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. This combination promotes the formation of additional bonds within the cornea, strengthening its structure and stability.

Clinical Efficacy and Safety

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of cross-linking in stabilizing keratoconus and preventing further corneal thinning. One study published in the Journal of Refractive Surgery found that CXL significantly improved visual acuity and corneal topography in patients with progressive keratoconus. Furthermore, long-term follow-ups have shown that the benefits of cross-linking persist over several years, ensuring the durability of the treatment.

Cross-Linking, an Important Treatment for those affected by Keratoconus

Keratoconus can pose significant challenges to those affected, impacting their quality of life and visual function. However, with the advent of corneal cross-linking, patients now have a viable treatment option to halt the progression of this debilitating condition. While further research is ongoing to optimize the procedure and expand its applications, cross-linking has already showcased its clinical efficacy and safety in numerous studies. With advancements in technology and medical expertise, we can anticipate brighter futures for those living with keratoconus.

Cross-Linking Evaluations at Charlotte Contact Lens Institute

At the Charlotte Contact Lens Institute, we closely monitor keratoconus with corneal tomography, utilizing state-of-the-art technology called the Pentacam AXL Wave. This device measures effects of keratoconus to the front and back surface of the cornea. It is important to monitor keratoconus with tomography (as opposed to topography), as tomography will provide the earliest detection of progression.

If you have any questions or would like to reach out to my practice about cross-linking evaluations, feel free to check out our website at or email me at!

  • Ariel Cerenzie


Visit the Charlotte Contact Lens Institute and meet with our specialist, Dr. Ariel Cerenzie, for a cross-linking consultation.




  1. Raiskup-Wolf F, et al. “Corneal Crosslinking with Riboflavin and Ultraviolet A: Long-term Results.” J Cataract Refract Surg. 2008;34(5):796-801.
  2. O’Brart DP, et al. “Corneal Cross-linking in Keratoconus: Ten-Year Follow-up.” Lancet. 2019;393(10175):51-60.
  3. Shetty R, et al. “Corneal Crosslinking in the Management of Keratoconus.” Indian J Ophthalmol. 2017;65(12):1072-1078.
  4. Vinciguerra P, et al. “Corneal Cross-linking as a Treatment for Keratoconus: Four-year Morphologic and Clinical Outcomes with Respect to Patient Age.” Ophthalmology. 2013;120(5):908-916.
  5. National Keratoconus Foundation. “Understanding Keratoconus: What is Keratoconus?” Available at: Accessed June 6, 2023.
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Charlotte Contact Lens Institute is specifically designed to cater to children with progressive myopia, patients who need customized scleral contact lenses for treatment of keratoconus or other corneal problems, or have hard-to-fit” eyes and/or dry eye syndrome. Charlotte Contact Lens Institute is located in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, North Carolina, which makes us convenient to many parts of Charlotte, including downtown / uptown Charlotte. Our patients come from all over North Carolina and South Carolina and we have patients in Columbia, South Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina, Winston Salem, North Carolina, or even Asheville, North Carolina, and have had patients travel from as far as four hours away to be fit in custom Scleral contact lenses. Whether you’re in Fort Mill, Concord, Gastonia, Rock Hill, Mint Hill, Huntersville, Kannapolis, Mooresville, Plaza Midwood, or Matthews, our office is worth the drive for the most specialized scleral lens fitting experience in the area. We offer our scleral contact lens, ortho-k / myopia management services, and other specialized optometry services for patients living in Mecklenburg county, York county, Union county, Cabarrus county, Gaston county, Iredell county, Rowan county, Lancaster county, Catawba county, and Lincoln county, as well as all of North Carolina and South Carolina, including Rock Hill South Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, and Greensboro, North Carolina, Winston Salem, North Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina.