How long does blurred vision last after crosslinking? (2023)

Dealing with blurred vision from keratoconus is much worse. Additionally, it is common to have problems with blurred vision even after keratoconus corneal crosslinking. Still, the procedure is important to stop the progression of keratoconus.

After corneal cross-linking in keratoconus, vision becomes particularly blurry in the first 7 to 10 days after the procedure. Also, the crisscrossing may change the way your eye sees, and your glasses may not work as well as they used to. This can change years after the procedure.

In addition to these two major changes, there is one other short-term change worth mentioning, but which may have an almost negligible impact on vision. So let's examine each of these different phases in depth.

initial blurred vision

When we look at an object, light passes across the front surface of the eye, through the natural lens of our eye, and hits the retina at the back of the eye. And especially with corneal crossing over, a lot happens on the front, or corneal, surface of our eye!

On the surface of the cornea is a thin layer of cells called the epithelium. These cells are responsible for providing a protective shell to all the remaining layers below. It is the skin of the cornea.

Normally the epithelium is very smooth. A smooth surface, similar to glass, allows light to pass through easily, giving us vision.

However, this changes after corneal cross-linking. Well, at least with the FDA-approved type of corneal crosslinking. Corneal crossing over actually exists in different forms. The very potent form approved for use in the United States involves the removal of this layer of epithelium (referred to in the medical community as "epi-off" cross-linking).As we understand and learn more about corneal cross-linking, other methods, such as those that keep the epithelium intact, will become the dominant way we treat keratoconus patients in the future.

(Video) What do patients experience after corneal crosslinking for keratoconus?

After removing the epithelium, it has to grow back. This regeneration process takes between 3 and 5 days. But here's the thing, without the epithelium, the surface of the cornea is no longer glassy. The layers below the epithelium are much rougher. As with a stained glass window, it is much more difficult to see through the cornea. The light is diffused instead of going through cleanly. Your vision is blurry!

This blurred vision lasts at least 3-5 days, the same time it takes for the epithelium to regrow, but it can take a little longer, up to 7-10 days, for the epithelium to become completely smooth again.

During this healing process, your surgeon will add a contact lens to the surface of your eye. This contact lens does not correct vision, it simply serves as an "artificial epithelium" to protect the eye and make it more comfortable during recovery (since it is painful not to have an epithelium).

But because the tears under this contact lens can hide the rough surface of the cornea, it may improve vision a bit more, at least initially. As the epithelium grows, you can add some additional distortions. Therefore, in the first 3 to 5 days you may notice your vision deteriorating before it improves.

Turbidity after crosslinking

Whether you have gotten past the initial immediate causes of blurred vision after corneal crosslinking is still not entirely clear. Haze may have a potentially negligible or minor effect on vision.

It goes without saying that anything that causes clouding of the cornea can lead to blurred vision. After all, anything that creates haze is a barrier to the passage of light. After corneal cross-linking, opacity develops within the cornea in the first few months.

The cornea should not be exposed to ultraviolet light. When combined with riboflavin, it is excellent for strengthening calluses. But the cornea still has to recover from this radiation.

Clouding is the healing response of the cornea after corneal cross-linking. The taut, organized framework that allows the cornea to be transparent is further distorted. The extra light is scattered and causes some haze.

(Video) What to Expect During Your Corneal Cross-Linking Surgery?

Most people will not be aware that a haze has developed on the cornea. Haze is really more academic than relevant. But haze can potentially cause additional glare or fog-like symptoms after corneal crosslinking. These can build up in the second month before gradually dissipating in the following months.

The biggest change in vision.

Previously, most blurred vision after corneal crosslinking occurred within the first week. With some minor changes beyond that. However, in the long term, there is a greater effect on vision: vision.

As keratoconus worsens, the regulation of the eye changes. Keratoconus causes the cornea to weaken. As the cornea weakens, it is less able to maintain a dome shape. This causes the cornea to bulge into a cone shape. This causes the cornea to become more tilted.

How long does blurred vision last after crosslinking? (1)

Steep cornea with keratoconus; picture ofgreat 88,CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This steeper cornea changes the focus of light in the eye. That means it changes your recipe; the visual acuity of the eye becomes more myopic (even with severe astigmatism).

So what happens when we strengthen the cornea? Well, that partially reverses everything!

A stronger cornea is better able to maintain this dome shape. The cornea protrudes less. The cornea becomes less conical; it becomes flatter.

(Video) 5 Months Post Corneal Cross Linking : Keratoconus Surgery

This flatter cornea REDUCES nearsightedness and astigmatism! This can improve overall visibility.

While this is usually great, there are a few problems:

glasses don't work either

Glasses cannot accommodate all changes in your cornea and vision on their own. This means that you may have gone into surgery with a prescription perfectly optimized to give you the best vision possible, but you may have come out of surgery with an "off" eyeglass prescription.

Our natural lens in our eye has the ability to adapt to some of these changes. Our particular natural lens is capable of focusing by adding myopia to make things sharper.

Since changes after corneal crosslinking can cause you to be fitted with additional prescription glasses for nearsightedness, you may not even notice the change in prescription.And some people don't really have a significant change in the shape of their cornea, and therefore their vision, after crosslinking.

However, if crosslinking causes changes in astigmatism, it could actually affect your prescription and cause additional blurred vision.

Changes happen over time.

If the cornea completed all of its post-corneal crossover changes in two to four weeks, while it would still be annoying to have to get another prescription, you could take care of that once and for all.

But the cornea is constantly changing! As a matter of fact,The cornea can changeduring years! This could mean more frequent fittings of glasses and contact lenses to optimize your vision.

(Video) Chang Reaction Episode 21: When Will Vision Generally Stabilize After Corneal Cross-linking?

Although it may change over the years,The vast majority of changes occur within the first year after corneal crosslinking.. After this mark, changes in eye regulation slow down.

And again, not everyone will notice these prescription changes.


The first phase of blurred vision after corneal crosslinking occurs in the first week after the procedure. This blurred vision will heal within 7 to 10 days as the eye heals. After this stage, cross-linking of the cornea can alter the vision in your eye and make your glasses work less effectively: blurred vision. This can change years after the procedure.

Also take a look at:

Does crisscross improve eyesight? At the time of detection of keratoconus, many times there is already a…The Complete Tour of the Corneal Cross Linking Procedure
(Video) My experience with Corneal Cross Linking, one month update


When does vision go back to normal after cross-linking? ›

After cross-linking, most patients need approximately 1 week (sometimes longer) off work. Please make sure you carefully use the eye drops as instructed above, to optimize the outcome after surgery. You are likely to experience fluctuations in your vision for around 1 month which may in turn result in mild headaches.

How long does the haze last after crosslinking? ›

Corneal haze caused by collagen cross-linking in patients with keratoconus or ectasia after LASIK takes at least 1 year to resolve but does not affect clinical outcomes, a study found. According to Peter S.

How long does corneal haze last after CXL? ›

Corneal Haze

“Haze is very transient,” says Dr. Tan. “It starts at about three weeks after surgery, then increases a little for one to two months, and then by six months is almost completely gone.

How long does blurred vision last after C3R? ›

Corneal haze develops in most cases following C3R/CXL. This resolves significantly over three weeks and completely over six months. The power of your glasses or fitting of contact lenses may change initially for a few weeks following the procedure.

How can I improve my vision after cross-linking? ›

  1. There are several ways to improve your eyesight after cross-linking, and these include: special contact lenses, intrastromal rings and wavefront-guided PRK. ...
  2. The Goal of Laser Surgery.
  3. The goal of keratoconus laser surgery is to achieve better vision and visual acuity – in combination with lenses.

How long will my vision be blurry after Strabismus surgery? ›

The double vision usually goes away over a few days as the brain gets used to the new position of the eye muscles. However, some children see double off-and-on for weeks.

Can corneal haze be corrected? ›

However, in rare cases when visually significant corneal haze develops, it can be successfully treated with phototherapeuthic keratectomy (PTK) with MMC application. Corneal haze appears in the first weeks or months after PRK, and low contrast visual acuity might be slightly reduced during this period.

How does corneal haze look like? ›

Corneal haze may cause vision to be blurry, unfocused or obscured. It can also cause halos to be visible around light, especially at night or in the dark. Sometimes, however, corneal haze does not cause any vision problems at all, although a doctor can usually detect it during an eye examination.

What to avoid after crosslinking? ›

Avoid swimming and smoky or dusty areas for at least 2 to 3 weeks. It is recommended that reading, computer work and watching television be avoided for at least the first 48 hours. Avoiding wearing eye makeup for the first 7 days. Please do not reinsert the contact lens if it falls out.

Can a cloudy cornea heal on its own? ›

Your cornea usually heals itself after most minor injuries or infections. But during the healing process, you might notice symptoms like: Pain. Blurred vision.

What is done to correct a cloudy cornea? ›

Treating Corneal Opacity

Eye drops containing antibiotics, steroids or both. Oral medications. Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK), laser surgery. Cornea transplant.

Can cross-linking make vision worse? ›

After Your Corneal Crosslinking Procedure

For most patients, their vision is worse in the first month or two after their CXL procedure. This is because your eyes are healing, and it shouldn't worry you. In most cases, by the third month your vision will be back to what it was before the procedure.

How long does it take blurred vision to heal? ›

If the corneal abrasion is small, it'll likely heal on its own in a day or two, but larger abrasions may require medical treatment.

How long should blurred vision last? ›

How long does blurred vision last? Unfortunately, there isn't a single answer for how long blurred vision lasts. Some people experience sudden blurred vision in both eyes or sudden blurred vision in one eye. Others can experience blurred vision for longer periods of time and even for weeks.

Can blurred vision go back to normal? ›

Most people will experience blurred vision at some point during their lifetime. In many cases, it will be temporary and will resolve itself without the need for any significant treatment. However, some people will need assistance to restore the clarity of their sight.

Can you read after corneal cross-linking? ›

You are likely to experience changes in your vision for around one month which may in turn result in mild headaches. Use artificial tears every one - two hours when using a computer screen or reading in the first few weeks after surgery.

Can I get my vision back after keratoconus? ›

Unfortunately, usually after a corneal transplant, vision is still not perfect after the surgery alone. Since the eye now has a donor cornea in place, it has a better chance of seeing but will still likely have an irregular shape which requires some form of contact lens or glasses correction.

Is it normal to have blurred vision after eyelid surgery? ›

Patients often experience blurred vision immediately after having blepharoplasty because of the work being done to the upper and lower eyelids. This is caused by eyelid swelling, which can affect the cornea and cause slight distortion. This problem will usually get better by itself within a few hours.

How long does it take for eyes to adjust after strabismus surgery? ›

Postoperative Strabismus/diplopia: It takes approximately 6 weeks for the eyes to heal and gain their full function; therefore a lot of eye alignment changes take place during this time.

How long does double vision last after strabismus surgery in adults? ›

After surgery, it is normal to have double vision. This will get better in 1 or 2 weeks. Moving your eye may be painful. This should feel better in a few days.

What would happen if your cornea lens were cloudy instead of clear? ›

The cornea is a transparent structure that covers the iris. Certain metabolic diseases, trauma, infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies and environmental situations may cause the cornea to be less transparent and cloudy. If the cornea becomes cloudy, it can lead to various degrees of vision loss.

Is there a cure for cloudy eyes? ›

Cataracts that are bad enough to interfere with daily activities can be treated with surgery. An eye surgeon first uses ultrasound or a laser to break up the cloudy lens.

Does keratoconus cause cloudy vision? ›

Keratoconus (ker-uh-toe-KOH-nus) occurs when your cornea — the clear, dome-shaped front surface of your eye — thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape. A cone-shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may cause sensitivity to light and glare.

What does haze do to your vision? ›

Haze and the eyes

The haze can irritate the eyes surfaces resulting in itch, swelling, redness and tearing with eye discharges. Those with existing dry eyes and allergic conjunctivitis will be more affected by the haze.

Why is my eye suddenly cloudy? ›

What causes cloudy vision? Cloudy vision can occur in one or both eyes, and it's usually caused by an eye condition. The most common cause of cloudy vision is cataracts. Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye gradually becomes cloudy and loses its transparency, which causes your vision to change.

Do you need glasses after crosslinking? ›

Most of the time, patients can wear their old glasses until several months after the procedure when your regular eye doctor will prescribe new ones. Because the effects of CXL occur slowly, patients don't generally have to change their glasses very often.

Should I wear an eye patch after crosslinking? ›

During the day, no actual bandages are required. You will only have a soft “bandage” contact lens to protect the surface of the eye in the days after surgery. At night, however, you will have to wear an eye shield to stop you from rubbing your eyes when you are asleep.

How do you speed up the healing of the cornea? ›

To accelerate the healing process, be sure to do the following: Blink to clear away anything that's not meant to be in your eye. Rinse your eye with saline solution or even fresh water. Wear protective sunglasses.

What is the most common cause of blurred vision? ›

A refractive error is a disorder that happens when the eyes can't focus images correctly. The term includes these conditions: astigmatism, farsightedness and nearsightedness. You can often correct these conditions with eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. Refractive errors are the most common cause of blurred vision.

How long does it take for cornea to heal? ›

Healing time depends on the size of the corneal abrasion. Most abrasions heal in two to three days, while larger abrasions that involve more than one half of the surface area of the cornea may take four to five days.

Why do my eyes cross and get blurry? ›

Crossed eyes occur either due to nerve damage or when the muscles around your eyes don't work together because some are weaker than others. When your brain receives a different visual message from each eye, it ignores the signals coming from your weaker eye.

Can drinking water help blurred vision? ›

Eye strain such as tired eyes, blurred vision, headaches and double vision can also be caused by dehydration and result when the eye is not properly lubricated. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out salt in the body and properly hydrate your eyes to help reduce eyestrain.

Can blurred vision be cured naturally? ›

Rolling the eyes is another way of calming the eyes. Roll the eyes 10 times, both clockwise and counterclockwise. It is recommended to do this exercise with the eyelids closed. Focusing exercises such as pen push-ups can also help achieve a clearer vision and even naturally improve eye vision.

When do you know if Strabismus surgery worked? ›

The first few days after surgery will provide a good indication of the success of the surgery. However, eye alignment can change over time and the final outcome of the surgery may not be confirmed until your eye has healed, typically around six weeks post-surgery.

How long does it take for vision to stabilize? ›

This may take anywhere from a few weeks to a maximum of six months. Until your vision becomes stable you will. Need to rely on a pair of glasses to assist you with critical distance vision activities – for example, driving when it is dark.

Can vision improve after Strabismus surgery? ›

The majority of adults will experience some improvement in binocular function after strabismus surgery even if the strabismus has been longstanding. Most commonly this takes the form of an expansion of binocular visual fields; however, some patients may also regain stereopsis.

Does strabismus cause blurry vision? ›

Young patients with eye misalignment also typically have poor stereo or 3D vision and depth perception. Strabismus in adults often results in double vision because the brain has been trained to receive images from both eyes.

What is the fastest way to recover from strabismus surgery? ›

Please try to apply ice cold compresses to the operated eye(s) for the first 24 hours following surgery as frequently as possible. A typical routine involves ten minutes with the compress on followed by a five minute break. This significantly reduces swelling and discomfort and can accelerate the overall recovery time.

Does strabismus surgery affect vision? ›

Purpose : Strabismus surgery in patients without diplopia or demonstrable potential binocular single vision is typically undertaken for psychosocial reasons. However, this type of strabismus surgery has been reported to lead to changes in vision or improvements in performing tasks and daily activities in some cases.

How long does it take for blurry vision to go away? ›

How long does blurred vision last? Unfortunately, there isn't a single answer for how long blurred vision lasts. Some people experience sudden blurred vision in both eyes or sudden blurred vision in one eye. Others can experience blurred vision for longer periods of time and even for weeks.

Can vision return to normal? ›

Some conditions that involve eye damage or vision damage can be reversed while others can't. That's why it's so important to see an eye doctor often to monitor the health of your eyes and your vision. We can detect problems before they become severe and make you blind.

How do I know if my vision is stable? ›

Visual stability is suggestive when your prescription has remained the same or similar over at least 12 months. A difference of 0.25 to 0.50 diopter is still within the realms of margin of error during subjective refraction (i.e. is considered acceptable difference to indicate stability).

Can I watch TV after strabismus? ›

Reading and watching tv is allowed, short after the surgery, although the patient probably won't enjoy it. Covering (the first days) isn't necessary to let the eyes co-operate. Afterwards the covering is necessary again: the squint eye must be covered to the age of 8, to maintain good visibility.

Do you need glasses after strabismus surgery? ›

In patients with double vision, the main goal of surgery is to decrease the amount of double vision or eye strain when the patient is looking straight ahead or reading. In children, strabismus surgery may decrease the chance ongoing amblyopia, but glasses and patching may still be required.


1. Corneal Cross Linking: Recovery Process : Keratoconus Surgery
(Adrian Bugarin)
2. What should I do if my eyes are blurry after treatment?
(London Vision Clinic)
3. 6months after PRK and CXL for keratoconus: studying a case performed elsewere: Kanellopoulos, MD
(LaserVision Ambulatory Eye Surgery Unit, Greece)
4. Corneal Collagen Cross-linking and Keratoconus Treatment
(Children's Hospital Colorado)
5. Corneal Cross Linking, 2 Years Later
6. My experience being diagnosed with Keratoconus and having Corneal cross-linking
(Ben Paton)


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