Corneal collagen cross-linking, one of the treatment options for people with keratoconus, will finally attract a Medicare rebate from 1 May 2018. The cross-linking procedure is approved for first-line treatment of progressive keratoconus and will now be available to patients who may have previously been unable to afford or access the treatment. In some cases, corneal collagen cross-linking may avoid the need for future corneal transplant.
‘This is an important step that brings an innovative and effective treatment option to the many people living with the effects of keratoconus in Australia,’ said Professor Gerard Sutton, Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Cornea Society and one of Vision Eye Institute’s leading ophthalmologists.
Keratoconus is a debilitating condition that affects younger people and results in thinning of the outermost surface of the eye (the cornea). The cornea then begins to bulge forwards, changing from a rounded dome to a cone shape instead. As a result, vision becomes significantly distorted – symptoms include blurry vision and difficulty seeing objects at all distances. The symptoms are progressive and vision impairment can be severe, particularly without treatment.
Corneal collagen cross-linking stops the progression of keratoconus by strengthening the cornea.
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