Andrew’s vision issues began in college when he was reading the board during a lecture and noticed the words were becoming harder to see. Soon, paying attention in class became a hassle which left him very confused as to why this was happening. He also found that driving at night was becoming difficult. With blurry vision and tired eyes, Andrew noticed his vision impacted all aspects of his life: he was struggling in school, feeling less than confident behind the wheel, and was having trouble playing soccer – something he loved to do with friends. Not once did he ever consider that he was living with a progressive eye condition.

Searching For A Solution 

Noticing these changes with his vision, Andrew really wanted to get to the bottom of the cause and find a solution. He was feeling hopeful and optimistic when he went to a local eye doctor, but unfortunately, they told him he did not need glasses or contact lenses. Leaving frustrated and without answers, he continued to struggle with his academics, driving, and extracurricular activities. Andrew pushed through college with his vision issues, and after graduating, he was feeling very thankful to begin his new career! However, he soon found that his eyes were feeling irritated and tired as he was sitting behind a computer screen all day, and realized that his vision was getting progressively worse. 

In a matter of a few years, Andrew went from decent vision to not being able to legally drive at night without glasses. This frustration propelled Andrew to pay a visit to a new optometrist. During the appointment, Andrew was prescribed glasses and contact lenses, and received a referral to Dr. Douglas Katsev of Santa Barbara EyeCare for further testing. Wanting to get to the bottom of his vision issues, Andrew made an appointment with Dr. Katsev as soon as possible. During the appointment, Andrew received some shocking news – he was living with progressive keratoconus. 

Turning To Treatment 

After being diagnosed with keratoconus, Dr. Katsev discussed why it was a good thing Andrew’s condition was diagnosed early and shared that treatment was available. Dr. Katsev suggested that Andrew undergo iLink, the only FDA-approved corneal cross-linking procedure proven to slow or halt the progression of keratoconus. Andrew immediately went home to learn more about his condition and available treatment options. He also confided in a friend about his diagnosis and was shocked to learn his friend had also been diagnosed with the same progressive condition, the two shared information with each other that they’d received from their doctors 

After reviewing the risks and benefits of the treatment options that Dr. Katsev recommended, Andrew decided to move forward with iLink, the only FDA-approved cross-linking procedure. Andrew was grateful to learn that he could be treated with iLink as Dr. Katsev is the only doctor in Santa Barbara to offer the iLink procedure.  Andrew’s first procedure was on his right eye in June of 2021 and his left eye was treated in September of 2021.

“It was really important for me professionally and personally to get the proper treatment to help halt the progression of my keratoconus. I found comfort knowing my friend was dealing with the same eye issue and that we ultimately decided to get the same treatment to benefit our long-term health.”

Finding Comfort 

Andrew experienced very little pain during and following his iLink procedures, and he recently had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Katsev who was pleased with the results. Since receiving cross-linking, Andrew has found relief knowing the progression of his keratoconus has been halted. He also recently received a prescription for new contact lenses that allows him to see better than he did before the procedures. 

Taking control of his eye health has allowed Andrew to feel more comfortable at work and behind the wheel, and he has resumed playing soccer. Since sharing his journey, Andrew’s friend also plans on moving forward with the FDA-approved cross-linking procedure. As a young adult with a bright future ahead, Andrew is looking forward to all of life’s experiences! 

Find an iLink Expert Near You:

Search our physician locator to find a corneal specialist who is familiar with treating progressive keratoconus. 

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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