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What To Expect When Healing From CXL

Monday, September 4th, 2017, 10:00 am

CXL, also known as corneal collagen cross-linking, is an eye procedure used to slow down or stop the progression of keratoconus. In doing so, the procedure preserves current vision levels and also prevents the condition from getting any worse. It does this by strengthening the cornea.

This relatively quick procedure involves the use of UV light and riboflavin drops. If you are interested in learning more details about the procedure, you can read about it on our website here.

 Healing From CXL

What to Expect When Healing From CXL

    • Recovery Period

The CXL procedure has a relatively quick recovery period. You will likely want take a couple of days off to rest (due to light sensitivity), but some people recover in less than a week. Typically, by the end of the week, patients will resume their daily activities.

    • Light Sensitivity

Patients should expect to experience light sensitivity after their procedure for roughly one to three days. The first day will be the most sensitive. Patients tend to stay in a dark room for a couple of days until the light sensitivity decreases, but, generally, they can at least watch television by the second day.

    • Moderate, Temporary Discomfort

As the cornea heals, patients can also feel moderate discomfort, but this is easily managed and is usually short-lived. This discomfort typically feels like an irritation or an itchy sensation, and usually sets in roughly an hour or so after the procedure (when the anesthetic wears off). Antibiotic drops are typically prescribed. Patients can also take doctor-prescribed painkillers to relieve any discomfort. Typically, this discomfort is mostly experienced on the first day of the procedure and then subsides.

  • Possible Mild Corneal Swelling


A few days after undergoing CXL, some patients experience mild corneal swelling. This is entirely normal and will subside as the cornea heals.


  • Possible Temporary Corneal Haze


Some patients—around 10 to 15%—experience corneal haze, which can initially blur vision, but this subsides in time.

The bulk of light sensitivity and any discomfort is typically experienced in the first two days of the procedure. Overall, CXL is a successful, relatively quick and simple procedure with a manageable recovery period.

If you are interested in CXL, consider Skouras Eye and Cosmetic Centre. We are one of the leading comprehensive eye care facilities in Toronto. To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact us here.

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Category: Keratoconus