The cornea acts as the eye’s outermost lens and helps to shield the rest of the eye from germs, dust, and other harmful matter.
What is Cornea Care?
The cornea is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye. The cornea helps your eye to focus light so you can see clearly.
There are several common conditions that affect the cornea.
Injuries. Small abrasions (scratches) on the cornea usually heal on their own. Deeper scratches or other injuries can cause corneal scarring and vision problems.
Allergies. Allergies to pollen can irritate the eyes and cause allergic conjunctivitis (pink eye). This can make your eyes red, itchy, and watery.
Keratitis. Keratitis is inflammation (redness and swelling) of the cornea. Infections related to contact lenses are the most common cause of keratitis.
Dry eye. Dry eye happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears to stay wet. This can be uncomfortable and may cause vision problems.
Corneal dystrophies. Corneal dystrophies cause cloudy vision when material builds up on the cornea. These diseases usually run in families.
There are also a number of less common diseases that can affect the cornea — including ocular herpes, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, iridocorneal endothelial syndrome, and pterygium.
What is the treatment for corneal conditions?
Many corneal conditions can be treated with prescription eye drops or pills. If you have advanced corneal disease, you may need a different treatment.
Laser treatment. To treat some corneal dystrophies and other conditions, doctors can use a type of laser treatment called phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) to reshape the cornea, remove scar tissue, and make vision clearer.
Corneal transplant surgery. If the damage to your cornea can’t be repaired, doctors can remove the damaged part and replace it with healthy corneal tissue from a donor.
Artificial cornea. As an alternative to corneal transplant, doctors can replace a damaged cornea with an artificial cornea, called a keratoprosthesis (KPro).