Keratoconus Specialist


Martin L. Fox, MD, FACS

Cornea & Refractive Surgery located in Midtown East, New York, NY

Keratoconus is a progressive weakening of your cornea until it ultimately changes its shape, distorting your vision. As a Center of Excellence for the treatment and management of keratoconus, Laserfox offers innovative procedures that protect and improve your eyesight for years to come. Martin L. Fox, MD, FACS, gives people in the New York City area effective solutions that help offset the effects of keratoconus and even halt the progression of the disorder. If you suffer from keratoconus, call or book an appointment using the online scheduling tool to learn more.


What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive corneal problem that gradually thins your cornea, which eventually takes on a cone shape rather than the normal round shape. Since your cornea is the first point of entry for light, this developing malformation leads to vision issues.

The disease typically begins to appear in your late teens and early 20s and continues into your 50s. As the condition worsens, it can cause your cornea to bulge so badly that you need a corneal transplant, making early intervention key.

In most cases, soft contact lenses or glasses work well to correct your vision, but as your corneas thin and change shape, glasses and soft contacts grow less effective, and you may have to resort to scleral contact lenses to correct your vision. Scleral lenses have a wider diameter, so they cover the entire cornea instead of just a portion, as traditional contact lenses do.

If your keratoconus progresses unchecked, even these corrective measures may no longer be viable. 


How is keratoconus treated?

Dr. Fox uses two approaches for keratoconus, depending upon the degree of the changes in your corneas:

Corneal collagen cross-linking

To halt the progression of keratoconus, Dr. Fox uses collagen cross-linking, an FDA-approved procedure that uses a combination of low-energy UV light and vitamin B2 drops. During the procedure, Dr. Fox saturates your cornea with riboflavin drops for about 30 minutes and then exposes them to 5-30 minutes of UV light. The UV light is photoactivated by the riboflavin drops, stimulating a chemical reaction that leads to a cross-linking of the collagen fibers in your cornea, making it stronger.

Intacs intrastromal ring implantation

If your keratoconus is advanced, Dr. Fox uses a laser to inserts Intacs® rings, which can improve your vision significantly. To create the channels for the Intacs, Dr. Fox relies on the IntraLase FS® femtosecond laser. Once the channels are set, Dr. Fox inserts Intacs segments of varying thicknesses into them. The size and placement of these rings depend upon the degree of your keratoconus and the status of your cornea. 

The implants are designed to improve your walking-around vision, to allow for the use of glasses again, and to improve your tolerance for contact lens again.

With the Intacs surgery, you can avoid a more involved corneal transplant procedure.


Which procedure is right for my keratoconus? 

The only way to answer this question is to have Dr. Fox review the extent of your keratoconus. The goal of both of the treatments is to avoid a corneal transplant. To that end, he may try the cross-linking procedure first. If you’re still having problems, Dr. Fox turns to Intacs, though often he can combine Intacs and cross-linking for a greater effect.

If you want to explore your options further, give Laserfox a call, or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.