US begins clinical trial of new eye treatments for eratoconus, corneal ectasia

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DR. NICHOLAS BATRA, ONE OF FEW CORNEA SPECIALISTS OFFERING GROUNDBREAKING, NON-INVASIVE TREATMENT FOR KERATOCONUS AND CORNEAL ECTASIA," SAN LEANDRO, CA.  (PRNewsFoto/Batra Vision Medical Group)
DR. NICHOLAS BATRA, ONE OF FEW CORNEA SPECIALISTS OFFERING GROUNDBREAKING, NON-INVASIVE TREATMENT FOR KERATOCONUS AND CORNEAL ECTASIA,” SAN LEANDRO, CA. (PRNewsFoto/Batra Vision Medical Group)

LEANDRO, Calif., Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — An exciting new treatment option for patients suffering from Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia is in U.S. Clinical trials right now. Corneal Cross-linking is a non-invasive treatment that has the potential to halt the progression of Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia, possibly saving patients from the need for corneal transplant.

Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia

Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia cause the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) to thin and become weak, to bulge and protrude outward thereby causing visual problems. Keratoconus occurs naturally, while Corneal Ectasia can occur when the cornea is weakened by LASIK or PRK procedures. Both conditions can severely compromise eyesight and may lead to legal blindness and corneal transplant surgery.

Corneal Cross-linking

The Corneal Cross-linking treatment being investigated in the clinical study is Avedro’s VibeX eye drops (Riboflavin) and KXL device (Ultraviolet light). Corneal Cross-linking may help improve vision by stabilizing the cornea and reducing astigmatism. Traditional treatments include Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses, corneal implants, or corneal transplant.

The study was initiated to investigate an alternative way to treat Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia in patients after LASIK and PRK. Only a small percentage of patients who have the surgery develop the sight-threatening condition, however, it frequently leads to corneal transplant or loss of vision.

Nicholas Batra, M.D.

Dr. Nicholas Batra, Medical Director of Batra Vision Medical Group in San Leandro, California, is one of only a handful of clinical investigators nationwide enrolling patients in this study.

“As a cornea specialist, I see this therapy has the potential to dramatically change the landscape of treatment for patients with Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia. The United States is the only western industrialized nation where Corneal Cross-linking is not approved for use outside of clinical trials.”

Corneal Cross-Linking therapy is offered to patients in Mexico, Canada and Europe and other countries around the world. Dr. Batra is currently accepting US patients for the post-LASIK and Keratoconus segment of the Cross-Linking study.

Dr. Batra was awarded his Doctorate of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition, Dr. Batra received a fellowship from UCSF/Proctor Foundation in Cornea and Refractive surgery and a Fellowship with the prestigious Heed Foundation.

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