The cornea is the dome-shaped clear covering at the center of your eyes. It protects your eyes, and its curvature is also responsible for many aspects of our vision. It is a highly complex series of cells and proteins. Unlike most of the tissues of the body, the cornea has no veins or blood vessels of any kind to help nourish and maintain it, because the blood vessels would interfere with our vision. This makes the cornea vulnerable to outside infections and diseases, of which there are many.
Could I have a corneal condition?
- Are you experiencing sensitivity to light?
- Are your eyes reddening or painful?
- Are your eyes tearing more often than usual?
- Is your vision blurry?
If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, you may be experiencing signs of a corneal condition. Schedule an eye appointment to discuss your symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the cornea help you see?
The cornea plays a key role in our vision. Its primary job is to help your eyes focus. The cornea has a slight curvature and as light enters your eye, the shape of the cornea refracts or bends it. The curve helps your eye focus on objects that are close or far away.
What are common corneal conditions that we treat?
Some corneal conditions that require treatment include dry eye, keratoconus, pterygium, viral infections, trauma, recurrent corneal erosions, and corneal dystrophies such as Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy and epithelial basement membrane disease.
What are common indicators that a corneal condition may be present?
Your cornea usually heals itself after most minor injuries or infections. But during the healing process, you might experience symptoms like pain, tearing, blurred vision, extreme sensitivity to light, burning, foreign body sensation, and redness.
What are common corneal treatments?
Most corneal conditions can be treated medically with eye drops, ointments, pills, contact lenses, amniotic membranes, or other treatments. On occasion, office procedures or surgery may be recommended to help improve your symptoms. Office procedures include the insertion of punctal plugs for dry eye or a corneal debridement with anterior stromal puncture for epithelial basement membrane disease. Surgeries include corneal transplant surgery or pterygium surgery.
What is a corneal transplant and who requires this procedure?
Corneal transplantation is a surgical procedure whereby the damaged cornea is replaced with donated corneal tissue. Corneal transplantation may be recommended for patients with certain types of corneal scarring due to infections or trauma, keratoconus, corneal edema (swelling), or corneal dystrophies (such as Fuchs’).