Good vision starts with the health of your corneas.
Good vision starts with the health of the corneas, the strong and durable transparent outer layer of the eyes. Corneal problems can affect the ability to see clearly, even with prescription glasses or contact lenses, negatively affecting everyday life.
This ultra-thin group of cells and proteins is comprised of five layers:
- Epithelium – the outermost layer protects the eye from debris and absorbs oxygen and nutrients from tears
- Bowman’s Layer – a layer of strong collagen tissue
- Stoma – this layer comprises 90% of the cornea, mostly water and collagen
- Descemet’s Membrane – a strong, thin layer of tissue that protest against injuries and infection
- Endothelium – the innermost layer designed to keep the cornea clear
If there are any diseases, injuries, or disorders that affect the cornea, clear vision will be impacted. Minor injuries and infections are often repaired quickly; however some eye conditions require medical attention.
How Corneas Become Damaged
As the outermost, protective layer of the eye, corneas are vulnerable to damage:
- Eye disease
- Trauma / injury
- Corneal scarring
- Extreme corneal bulging (Keratoconus)
- Corneal ulcers
These conditions can cause vision loss, pain and an unsightly appearance. If they cannot be resolved through other treatment options, cornea transplant surgery becomes necessary.
Corneal Disease Treatments
Corneas can also become diseased. Common conditions that we manage and treat include (but are not limited to):
- Anterior Basement Membrane Dystrophy
- Fuchs’ Dystrophy
- Recurrent Erosion Syndrome
- Band Keratopathy
- Herpetic Eye Disease
- Corneal Scarring
Corneal Transplants and other Procedures
Occasionally, the only treatment for some corneal conditions is surgery – corneal transplants or other procedures. According to the Eye Bank Association of America member eye banks provided more than 72,000 corneas for transplant in 2014. A corneal transplant involves the removal of all or part of a damaged cornea and replacement with healthy cornea tissue from a donor. Different areas of the cornea can be replaced as well as different layers of the cornea, depending on the severity of your vision problems and the needs of your eyes.
Depending on the condition of your corneas, Rochester Eye and Laser also performs other procedures and surgeries to correct conditions and restore corneal health:
- Superficial Keratectomy
- iLink™ Cross-Linking
- Anterior Stromal Puncture
- Phototherapeutic Keratectomy
- Corneal Transplant (PKP, DALK, DSAEK)