The eye doctors at Corrective Eye Center have been specializing in diagnosis and treatment of corneal disease and injury for more than two decades. Our eye specialists take the time to understand the concerns of our patients and educate them about their condition and treatment options to make sure our patients get the highest quality of eye care.
Although the cornea is highly resistant to damage, it may still be affected by disease or serious injury. What part of the eye is the cornea? The outer layer at the front of the eye is the cornea, and it acts as a shield to protect the more delicate parts of the eye. The cornea also serves to refract light into the eye’s lens, and back to the retina.
Common Symptoms of Corneal Disease and Injury
The cornea is very resilient, and it can repair most of the damage caused by disease or injury rather quickly. However, the cornea can be permanently affected when conditions are serious. Although they vary by the specific disease or injury and the severity, the following symptoms of corneal conditions are very common:
- Blurry vision
- Excessive tearing
- Sensitivity to light
Most corneal injuries consist of abrasions or scratches. Minor abrasions that do not pass through the outermost layer of the cornea heal quickly leaving no permanent damage. Healthy cells are able to fill in the damaged area before infection or serious problems can occur. When the injuries affect the deeper layers of the cornea, healing time increases, symptoms are more severe and permanent scarring may result. Professional treatment by an eye specialist is critical for serious eye injuries.
The cornea is susceptible to several diseases. Some of the most common corneal diseases are as follows:
- Infection – The cornea is susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. These eye infections usually occur in conjunction with an injury or through dirty contact lenses. Severe infections can cause pain, blurry vision, discharge and erosion of the cornea. The most common treatments are antibacterial or antifungal eye drops.
- Corneal dystrophy – This group of eye diseases includes two serious conditions known as Fuchs’ dystrophy and keratoconus. These diseases are usually inherited. Some cases of corneal dystrophy produce little damage, but other cases can cause severe visual distortion and require corrective eye surgery.
When medications cannot treat a serious corneal disease or injury, eye surgery may be indicated in the form of a corneal transplant. A corneal transplant is a common procedure that has a high rate of success. The eyes of some people may reject the transplanted cornea, but the rejection can usually be reversed when caught early.
Partial thickness cornea transplants, (“DSEK”) are now preferred for certain cornea problems to promote faster, safer healing.