“I guess I had been blind in my right eye for a while and I hadn’t even noticed, because I never closed my left eye and looked out of it.”

– Louis Jahnigen, age 15

For most of his life, 15-year-old Louis Jahnigen thought he was clumsy. He struggled with running into things, had a hard time playing catch, and was even missing the other hand on high fives. It wasn’t until he failed a routine eye exam at school that he learned he was “almost blind” in his right eye. Thinking he needed glasses, Louis was referred to an eye doctor. However, after undergoing a series of tests, he discovered he was living with progressive keratoconus.

With this diagnosis, Louis was referred to Dr. Adam Kaufman of Cincinnati Eye Institute to understand the available treatment options. After discussing various treatments, including corneal transplants, Dr. Kaufman recommended iLink​​® FDA-approved cross-linking, which is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for the treatment of progressive keratoconus. The goal of the procedure is to stiffen the cornea to slow or prevent further progression of the condition. After multiple appointments with Dr. Kaufmann, doing independent research, and getting answers to all of his questions, Louis along with his mom Abby decided that iLink® – which received approval from the FDA in April 2016 – was the right treatment for him.

In September 2021, Louis’ FDA-approved iLink® procedure was one of the first two procedures performed in Cincinnati. Following his recovery and after being fitted for prescription lenses[1][2], Louis has noticed an improvement in his schoolwork, reading ability, and depth perception, and his mom has even reported an uptick in his confidence. Louis and Abby, along with Dr. Kaufmann, recently spoke to The Cincinnati Enquirer to discuss their experiences with progressive keratoconus and iLink® FDA-approved cross-linking. You can read the full article here.  

For more information on keratoconus and iLink® FDA-approved cross-linking, or to read more Keratoconus Journeys like Louis’s, follow Living with KC on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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The results described on this site are based on data collected regarding short- and intermediate-term efficacy of treatment. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.

[1] Kreps, E. O., Pesudovs, K., Claerhout, I., & Koppen, C. (2021). Mini-Scleral Lenses Improve Vision-Related Quality of Life in Keratoconus. Cornea, 40(7), 859–864.

[2] Baudin, F., Chemaly, et al.  (2021). Quality-of-Life Improvement After Scleral Lens Fitting in Patients With Keratoconus. Eye & contact lens, 47(9), 520–525.