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Cornea And Refractive

What is Cornea?

Generally speaking cornea is the outermost layer of the eye which is the dome-shaped surface covering the front of the eye. Made up of five delicate membranes that are arranged one below the other, cornea plays a major role in focusing your vision. The transparency and curvy shape of the cornea helps in refracting light from an object in a way that it falls at the perfect spot on the retina thereby enabling sharpness of vision. It acts as a protection against any foreign particle entering our eye.

cornea refractive treatment

Corneal Problems

Since cornea is the eye's clear, protective outer layer, if this layer is damaged by disease, infection or an injury then the vision might get tampered and distorted due to the resulting scars. Common problems related to cornea includes

  • Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea
  • Keratoconus (thinning of the cornea)
  • Allergies
  • Infections like herpes
  • Corneal abrasions caused by external injuries.

As a result of these problems in the cornea one might feel lot of pain, reduced vision, redness, itching, watering of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids etc.

What are the common conditions that affect the Cornea?

Sometimes the injury in the cornea is healed on its own with time. There is however certain injuries which leave s a scar on the cornea leading to impaired vision. This might cause:

  • Pain in the eye
  • Sensitivity to the light
  • Reduced vision or blurry vision
  • Redness or inflammation in the eye
  • Headache, nausea, fatigue

Treatments for Cornea

While the superficial corneal abrasions heal quickly, but there are some corneal conditions which requires lot of medications so that the symptoms of corneal disease is treated. This however requires lot of cooperation from the side of the patient who has to comply by the recommendation given by the doctor and religiously take the medicines. Sometimes a small amount of corneal tissue is also removed in order to evaluate the type of infection that is affecting the cornea and hence the vision.

Corneal Transplant

When no medications work for the cornea, and the vision is impaired due to loss of corneal transparency, then one needs to go for a corneal transplant which replaces the diseased or scarred corneal tissue with healthy tissue from an organ donor. Also known as keratoplasty, a corneal transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces a damaged or diseased cornea with healthy tissues from a donor. This corneal transplant corrects a lot of eye problems like

  • Scarring of the cornea due to an injury
  • Ulcers in Cornea due to an infection
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Some diseases which are inherited by parents like Fuchs' dystrophy
  • Keratoconus in which your cornea bulges out.

There are two types of Corneal Transplant

  • Full Thickness Cornel Transplant - In this process the surgeon replaces all layers of cornea with a new cornea onto your eye with thin stitches. With a long healing life, this procedure is used for severe cornea injury or scarring etc.
  • Partial Thickness Corneal Transplant - This procedure is done majorly with those suffering from keratoconus or a corneal scar in which the injury has not happened to the lower layers.

"The cornea has no blood vessels within it. It gets all its nourishment from your tears and a fluid called the aqueous humor that’s filled behind the cornea."