Understanding Keratoconus

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus, often referred to as “KC,” is an eye condition in which the cornea weakens and thins over time, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. Keratoconus can result in significant visual loss and may lead to corneal transplant in severe cases.

Illustration of an eye with Keratoconus.Keratoconus
Illustration of an normal eye.Normal

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Keratoconus Overview

Watch this video for a quick overview about keratoconus and how it can be treated.

How is progressive keratoconus treated?

Keratoconus can be treated using iLink™—the first and only FDA-approved cross-linking procedure that slows or halts progressive keratoconus to help preserve vision.

A new standard of care for progressive keratoconus

iLink™ corneal cross-linking is an innovative therapy that has transformed the treatment of progressive keratoconus. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure uses Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate in 20% dextran ophthalmic solution) and Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate ophthalmic solution) and Photrexa® Viscous riboflavin eye drops, combined with ultraviolet light from the KXL system to1:

  • Create new corneal collagen cross-links
  • Shorten and thicken collagen fibrils
  • Stiffen and strengthen the cornea

[Beshtawi2013/p451/col2/para1/lines10-14; p452/col1/para1/lines3-6; col2/para1/lines10-11; lines23-27]

Less Cross-Linking (Weaker)

More Cross-Linking (Stronger)

Active Ingredient: Riboflavin 5’–phosphate Sodium

Did you know?

>95% of the commercially insured population has access to iLink™ corneal cross-linking.


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1. Beshtawi IM, O’Donnell C, Radhakrishnan H. Biomechanical properties of corneal tissue after ultraviolet-A-riboflavin crosslinking. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2013;39(3):451–462.

Using Photrexa® Viscous (riboflavin 5’-phosphate in 20% dextran ophthalmic solution), Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate ophthalmic solution), and the KXL® System, the iLink™ corneal cross-linking procedure from Glaukos is the only FDA-approved therapeutic treatment for patients with progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery.*1

[Photrexa IFU/p1/col1/para3/lines1-4]


Photrexa® Viscous (riboflavin 5’-phosphate in 20% dextran ophthalmic solution) and Photrexa® (riboflavin 5’-phosphate ophthalmic solution) are indicated for use with the KXL System in corneal collagen cross-linking for the treatment of progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery.

Important Safety Information

Corneal collagen cross-linking should not be performed on pregnant women.

Ulcerative keratitis can occur. Patients should be monitored for resolution of epethelial defects. The most common ocular adverse reaction was corneal opacity (haze). Other ocular side effects include punctate keratitis, corneal striae, dry eye, corneal epithelium defect, eye pain, light sensitivity, reduced visual acuity, and blurred vision.

These are not all the side effects of the corneal collagen cross-linking treatment. For more information, go www.livingwithkeratoconus.com to obtain the FDA-approved product labeling.

You are encouraged to report all side effects to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

*Photrexa® Viscous and Photrexa® are manufactured for Avedro. The KXL® System is manufactured by Avedro. Avedro is a wholly owned subsidiary of Glaukos Corporation.


1. Photrexa [package insert]. Waltham, MA: Glaukos, Inc. 2016