About the Cornea
The cornea is the very front surface of the eye or the outer surface of the eye. The cornea plays a major role in how you focus on images. In conjunction with your natural crystalline lens, the cornea helps to provide the necessary focusing power. If the cornea becomes weak or damaged serious visual problems may arise. Because the cornea is such an important part of your visual system please make sure to contact a qualified ophthalmologist if you think you might have damaged your cornea. Treating damaged or irregular corneas are something that is routinely done at our office. Each damaged cornea requires special attention by our eye doctors. Typically we can start treating the cornea with medication. If your vision cannot be accurately corrected with medications, eyeglasses or contact lenses a corneal transplant may be required.
How Does Damage to the Cornea Occur?
Damage to the cornea may arise from various reasons such as hereditary issues, chemical burns, blunt object trauma, viruses or bacteria. Conditions that may require a cornea transplant involve, clouding of the cornea, keratoconus, Fuchs dystrophy, irregular corneal surface tissue growths, or corneal swelling.
Common disorders of the Cornea
A condition when the cornea thins and bulges outward becoming cone-shaped. This irregular shape of the cornea can cause distortion of vision, glare, and discomfort. This is often treated with specialty contact lenses or in severe cases corneal transplantation. Click here for more information on Keratoconus.
Scarring can be caused by damage to the cornea (abrasion, laceration, burns, or diseases). Vision can vary from a slight blur to complete vision loss.
A disorder that causes swelling of the cornea and can lead to glare, cloudy vision, and discomfort. Fuchs usually affects both eyes and causes gradual vision loss.
Pterygium- A pterygium is a mass of fleshy tissue that grows over the cornea. They can remain small or grow large enough to interfere with vision. These occur more often in patients that spend a lot of time outdoors.
Shingles is a viral infection of the eye. It can cause blisters on the surface of the cornea and overtime spreading deeper into the cornea and the rest of the eye. Shingles is a recurrence of the chickenpox virus.
A very common condition when your own tears are unable to sufficiently lubricate the eyes. This may occur if you do not produce enough tears or also if the quality of the tears is poor. Symptoms include discomfort, grittiness, stinging, burning, or light sensitivity. Click here for more information on dry eye.
There is a wide range of treatment options for corneal disorders. In some cases monitoring the condition is all that is needed. In other cases medicated drops, ointments, and lubricants are necessary. Surgery can be an option with procedures ranging from partial to complete transplant of the diseased cornea. To maintain clear vision the cornea must remain healthy. It is important to have regular examinations with an ophthalmologist to check the health of the cornea and the rest of the eye.