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Cornea Center

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.

cornea-conditionsCommon disorders of the Cornea:


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 or in severe cases corneal transplantation.

Corneal scarring

Scarring can be caused by damage to the cornea (abrasion, laceration, burns, or diseases). Vision can vary from a slight blur to complete vison loss.

Fuchs dystrophy

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 vison loss.


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.


Shingles is a viral infection of the eye. It can cause blisters on the surface of the cornea and over time spreading deeper into the cornea and the rest of the eye. Shingles is a recurrence of the chicken pox virus.

Dry eye

A very common condition when your own tears are unable to sufficiently lubricate the eyes. This may occur if you do not produce enough tears or also if the quality of the tears are poor. Symptoms include discomfort, grittiness, stinging, burning, or light sensitivity.

There is a wide range of treatment options for corneal disorders. In some cases monitoring the condition is all that is needed. In other cases medicated drops, ointments, and lubricants are necessary. Surgery can be an option with procedures ranging from partial to complete transplant of the diseased cornea. To maintain clear vision the cornea must remain healthy. It is important to have regular examinations with an ophthalmologist to check the health of the cornea and the rest of the eye.

Our surgeons perform a range of corneal surgeries and procedures:

Corneal Transplant (keratoplasty):

Removing a certain diameter of full thickness corneal tissue and replacing with transplanted donor corneal tissue.


Removing the inner layers of diseased corneal tissue and replacing with healthy donor tissue.

Lamellar Keratectomy:

Gently removing the top layer of the diseased corneal tissue away and smoothing the cornea.

Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK):

Using a laser to remove scars or other irregularities in corneal shape or smoothness. PTK may minimize tissue removal and surgical trauma.

Astigmatic Keratectomy:

Using a laser to correct astigmatism and reduce dependency on glasses or contact lenses.

Pterygium Surgery:

Removing fleshy tissue growth that grows over the cornea.