Corneal Diseases

 

What is a cornea?

The cornea is the transparent, clear front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. Together with the lens, the cornea refracts light, with the cornea accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power. Various refractive eye surgery techniques change the shape of the cornea in order to reduce the need for corrective glasses or lenses.

Understanding Corneal Diseases

The term cornea disease refers to a variety of conditions that affect mainly the cornea. These include infections like herpes simplex virus and bacterial infections from contact lenses and inherited diseases like keratoconus and Fuch’s corneal dystrophy.

If a cornea becomes damaged through infection, injury or disease, the resulting corneal swelling, astigmatism or scars can interfere with vision by blocking or distorting light as it enters the eye. When there is deep injury to the cornea, the healing process may be prolonged, possibly resulting in a variety of symptoms including: pain, blurred vision, tearing, redness and extreme sensitivity to light.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common imperfection of the curvature of the eye, causing distorted images. A cornea without astigmatism is round and spherical, like the surface of a basketball. Irregularities from corneal astigmatism can result in a football shaped surface. Astigmatism is usually temporarily corrected with glasses or contact lenses prescribed by your optometrist. However, there are surgical options to permanently improve vision by reducing astigmatism. This can be done with laser treatment applied to the cornea (LASIK, PRK, etc) or with the implantation of a Toric astigmatism-correcting intraocular lens during routine cataract surgery.

Keratoconus

Keratoconus means cone-shaped cornea. The cornea is involved in focusing images on the retina, which helps us see clearly. Normally, the cornea is round like a baseball, In keratoconus, the cornea becomes thin and cone-shaped like a football, which results in blurred and distorted vision. The curvature of the cornea becomes irregular, resulting in increasing myopia and astigmatism. Keratoconus is usually progressive and the cornea becomes more thin, steep, and irregular overtime.

Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy

Astigmatism is a common imperfection of the curvature of the eye, causing distorted images. A cornea without astigmatism is round and spherical, like the surface of a basketball. Irregularities from corneal astigmatism can result in a football shaped surface. Astigmatism is usually temporarily corrected with glasses or contact lenses prescribed by your optometrist. However, there are surgical options to permanently improve vision by reducing astigmatism. This can be done with laser treatment applied to the cornea (LASIK, PRK, etc) or with the implantation of a Toric astigmatism-correcting intraocular lens during routine cataract surgery.