The cornea is the clear dome-shaped “window” on the surface of the eye. It not only protects the front of the eye but also allows light to enter the eye. Because the cornea is curved, it focuses the light, along with the lens of the eye, onto your retina. We frequently operate on the cornea to change its curvature for improved focusing.
Corneal Disease Information
Corneal Disease encompasses a variety of disorders that can cause infection and inflammation of the cornea. These disorders can result from corneal scarring caused by trauma, the presence of bacteria or fungi in the cornea, keratoconus, Fuchs corneal dystrophy or infections such as corneal ulcers or Herpes.
As the front window of the eye, the cornea is vulnerable to injury and irritation. In addition to trauma and foreign bodies to the eye, corneal abrasion and erosion can be painful making the eye more sensitive to light and vision uncomfortable. The corneal surface usually heals within several days and can be treated by patching, ointment and antibiotic drops. Additional tear lubrication is also helpful.
Treatment of Corneal Disease
When the cornea becomes diseased, scarred or irregularly shaped, the eye cannot see clearly. The doctors at Eye Surgical Associates can evaluate your condition and prescribe the most effective treatment that may include medical therapy or contact lenses.
Corneal transplantation may also be required after the effects of various eye disorders such as keratoconus, Fuchs corneal dystrophy and corneal scarring caused by trauma or infections from corneal ulcers or Herpes. The majority of corneal transplants are recommended because of a cloudy or irregular cornea that does not improve with medical therapy or contact lenses.Replacing the damaged cornea with clear, healthy donor tissue can restore impaired vision, relieve pain and protect the inner structure of the eye.
A corneal transplant involves replacing a diseased or scarred cornea with a new one. When the cornea becomes cloudy, light cannot penetrate the eye to reach the light-sensitive retina. Poor vision or blindness may result. At Eye Surgical Associates our corneal specialist, Catharine J. Crockett, M.D., can replace the cornea by taking a healthy donor cornea from a person who chooses to donate their cornea after death.
The surgery is complex and the visual recovery slow, however corneal transplant surgery is the most successful of all tissue transplants. More than 40,000 corneal transplants are performed in the U.S. each year. Consult the doctors at Eye Surgical Associates to discuss your questions or concerns about your eyes.