Dan’s goal is to become a member of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), but when an unexpected vision diagnosis threatened his ability to protect and serve, he knew he needed to act quickly to find the right treatment option to preserve his vision.

No Warning Sirens

In his early teens, Dan first began noticing a minor change in his vision but assumed it was nothing serious, since it wasn’t affecting his daily life. His vision never impacted his studies or ability to drive. It was only when one eye was closed, mainly the left, that he would notice his vision was a little blurry.

However, Dan realized the issue was not as insignificant as he always thought when he went in to take the vision test as part of his application for the NYPD. After scoring low on the exam, he was told that he needed to visit an eye doctor to correct his vision. Dan was determined not to let his vision troubles hold him back from achieving his dream of becoming a police officer. He made an appointment, not realizing how difficult it would be to find the right diagnosis.

Identifying the Culprit

When he was told to see an eye doctor, Dan assumed he would just be fitted with corrective lenses. He didn’t expect to see three doctors that would all tell him they couldn’t make an accurate diagnosis. Finally, Dan met with an ophthalmologist who was able to recognize the problem right away – Dan was living with keratoconus. Dan couldn’t believe his diagnosis, considering the degenerative eye condition had never impacted his day-to-day life. His parents knew his vision wasn’t perfect, but they never thought it was the result of a serious condition.

After his initial diagnosis, Dan was referred to a keratoconus specialist who confirmed the condition was impacting not just one, but both eyes. After learning the disease was progressing, Dan knew he needed to act fast. The specialist felt that Dan’s best treatment options were either FDA approved corneal cross-linking or hard contact lenses. After ruling out hard contact lenses because he was not interested in touching his eyes or putting in contacts daily, Dan and his parents turned to cross-linking. While they were initially skeptical of the procedure that was FDA approved in April 2016, they did their research and asked a lot of questions. Dan ultimately came to the conclusion that cross-linking was the best option for him, so he moved quickly to schedule the procedure.

Getting the ‘All Clear’

In June 2018, Dan underwent cross-linking in both eyes on the same day. Unafraid of the procedure after doing his research, he said it went by quickly while he listened to music and had conversations with the medical team during his treatment. Post-procedure, Dan experienced some discomfort and sensitivity to light, so during the two days following his cross-linking, he mainly stayed in his room in the dark. Dan also used eye drops for about two to three weeks post-procedure but has not used them since.

Now, Dan is living with no discomfort or side-effects from the procedure and his vision has stabilized to the point that he doesn’t need glasses or contacts. He is currently finishing up college before following his dream and applying to the NYPD again. Dan and his family are pleased with the results of the treatment, and their only regret is that their son didn’t get his eyes checked sooner.

In February of 2019, Dan was selected as Avedro’s “Person of Honor” and offered the opportunity to ring the closing bell at at the Nasdaq Exchange to commemorate the company’s Initial Public Offering. During the event, Dan and his mom were able to meet and speak with the employees at Avedro to share his keratoconus journey and discuss what receiving cross-linking has meant to him.

Click here to read more KC Journeys.

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.

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