A well deserved … smile – Chiara’s story

20 June 2017

Keratoconus, transepithelial osmotic corneal cross-linking

Chiara Bernardo was born in Como on the 17th of February 1986. Today she has works at Mondo Convenienza, in the furniture department. She likes music, jogging and going to the gym.  She loves traveling and spending time with her friends. With her smile and her contagious laughter, she won us all over here at SERI Lugano, as her boyfriend, with whom she lives in Villa Guardia Maccio, can confirm.  Chiara had been suffering from keratoconus since she was a little girl. Her vision was also distorted by myopia and astigmatism and lately she had become unable to see well even with contact lenses.  What led Chiara to come to the Switzerland Eye Research Institute in Lugano was, above all, her concern about the prospect of undergoing a corneal transplant. Over the last few years, this problem had made her so anxious that she couldn’t sleep. Some time ago she underwent another treatment in an Italian hospital, unfortunately with no results.  “First of all Dr Pinelli explained very clearly what keratoconus was and told me that the goal of the treatment with UVA light and ParaCel® was to stop the progression of the disease”. Chiara was treated with transepithelial osmotic corneal cross-linking for keratoconus, a procedure in which the patient’s corneal epithelium, the outer layer of the cornea, is preserved. This is undoubtedly an advantage in terms of vision and comfort for the patient.  During the treatment, the patient’s corneal epithelium is irradiated with UV light, after being soaked in ParaCel®, an eyewash especially developed by Dr Pinelli (and subsequently sold to Avedro) which contains riboflavin. ParaCel® osmotic properties facilitate the penetration of riboflavin through the epithelium of the cornea, thus eliminating the need to remove it.  “I can see better than before the treatment. I have a very clear vision, it is in fact 10/10. Before the treatment I was very prone to irritation … Now, while I still need to wear contact lenses, my vision is amazing!” Today Chiara has a 10/10 vision because, apart from stopping the progression of keratoconus, the treatment has also reduced her astigmatism.