Much like a watch crystal that covers the face of a watch, the cornea is the clear front window that covers the iris of your eye. The cornea is composed of five layers. The outermost is called the epithelium. Scars, swelling, or an irregular shape from injury or abrasion (a scratch, scrape or cut) can cause the cornea to scatter or distort light resulting in glare or blurred vision. Other symptoms include: The feeling of having something in your eye. Pain or soreness. Redness of the eye. Sensitivity to light. Excessive tearing.
How is the Cornea Treated?
To detect an abrasion of the cornea, your Great Lakes Eye Institute ophthalmologist uses a special dye called fluorescein to illuminate the injury. A microscope is usually used to examine the cornea and eye. Once the extent of injury is determined, treatment may include:
- Patching the injured eye to prevent blinking from irritating in injury.
- Applying lubricating eye drops or ointment to the eye to form a soothing layer between the eyelid and the abrasion.
- Antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Dilating (widening) the pupil to relieve pain.
- Wearing a special contact lens to assist in healing.
Damage from a foreign object that has penetrated the tissue or deeper scratches can cause corneal scarring resulting in a haze on the cornea that can greatly impair vision. In some cases, surgery or a corneal transplant may be needed.
Other disorders and diseases affecting the cornea include…
- Common allergies
- Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
- Fuchs’ Dystrophy
- Dry Eye
- Lattice Dystrophy
- Map-dot-fingerprint Dystrophy
- Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
- Ocular Herpes
- Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
Advanced Laser Procedure PTK
One of the latest advances offered by Great Lakes Eye Institute for the treatment of corneal dystrophies, corneal scars, and certain infections is Phototherapeutic keratectomy or PTK. By combining the masterful skills of a Great Lakes Eye Institute surgeon, the precision of an excimer laser, with computer aided control; we can vaporize microscopically fine layers of diseased corneal tissue. Recovery from the procedure takes a matter of days, rather than months associated with a corneal transplant. In select cases, PTK surgery maybe a viable option.
As with all procedures, a Great Lakes Eye Institute professional will examine, evaluate, and discuss the method of care and treatment that is best for you.