The cornea is the dome-shaped transparent layer of tissue forming the front of the eye. It acts like the windshield for our eye and allows us to see through it while protecting the structures behind it.
It is the only tissue in the body that is clear and does not contain blood vessels. Any change to the shape, smoothness, or transparency of the cornea can cause irregularity in vision. However, with two fellowship-trained corneal specialists in the clinic, there are plenty of options for correction. Common conditions treated at Anderson and Shapiro Eye Care include the following.
A condition when the cornea thins and bulges outward becoming cone-shaped. This irregular shape of the cornea can cause distortion of vision, glare, and discomfort. This is often treated with specialty contact lenses – called Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) – or in severe cases corneal transplantation.
Scarring can be caused by damage to the cornea from a variety of causes, including but not limited to abrasion, laceration, burns, and diseases. Vision can vary from a slight blur to complete vision loss. Common treatments include a laser procedure, lamellar keratectomy, or in severe cases a corneal transplant.
A disorder that causes swelling in the cornea and can lead to glare, cloudy vision, and discomfort. Fuchs usually affects both eyes and causes gradual vision loss. Mild to moderate Fuchs can be treated with eye drops, however, in severe cases, a surgery, called DSEK/DSAEK, may be necessary.
A pterygium is a mass of fleshy tissue that grows over the cornea. They can remain small or grow large enough to interfere with vision. These occur more often in patients that spend a lot of time outdoors. Commonly treated via surgical removal.
Asymmetric steepening (or curvature) of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed.
Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Common means of correction include glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions (astigmatic keratectomy), laser vision correction (LASIK), and special implant lenses.