A new microwave treatment could prevent hundreds of cornea patients a year needing a transplant.
In a new treatment specialists are using microwave probe to heat the cornea to around 60 degree Celsius, a procedure that corrects rugby-ball eye - the abnormal shape caused by keratoconus, reports Sky News.
AdvertisementThe temperature causes the front of the eye to shrink, restoring a normal spherical shape.
This is then 'locked-in' with a burst of ultra-violet light, preventing further deterioration of the eye.
Imran Rahman, consultant ophthalmologist at the Manchester Face and Eye Clinic said many sufferers have such distorted eyeballs that they are unable to use normal contact lenses or spectacles to correct their vision.
But he said that the new keraflex procedure is highly effective: "The difference in the visual acuity can be remarkable.
"We hope patients have really good unaided vision, something they have not had for many years," he added.
But The Royal College of Ophthalmologists said more trials are needed to confirm the benefits of the procedure.
President Professor Harminda Dua said: "It is promising but we want to see more research to show it is safe and effective in the long term."