Health Check: Treating a degenerative eye condition

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A London clinic hopes that an experimental procedure will prove beneficial for people who suffer from an eye problem that's more common in India, New Zealand and Trinidad.

Keratoconus is a degenerative condition where the cornea - the clear part at the front of the eye - thins, causing a cone-like bulge to develop. Hard contact lenses can be used to correct deteriorating eyesight, and in severe cases a corneal transplant may be necessary.

A relatively new procedure called collagen crosslinking involves the soaking the cornea with vitamin B drops or riboflavin. The drops are then activated with ultra violet light.

Mr John Dart, who's the Deputy Research Director at Moorfields Eye Hospital says that the collagen crosslinking prematurely "ages" the cornea, making it more rigid and reducing the bulge.

Following the collagen crosslinking some of the patients at the Accuvision clinic - like Hardeep Jhutti - are offered a new procedure - Topography Guided Laser Treatment.

It's hoped that smoothing out the cornea with a laser will further enhance the collagen crosslinking. Mr Dart says

Collagen crosslinking is a potentially exciting treatment and although it has a role, it's not known how safe it is combined with the laser surgery.