Light is focused while passing through the cornea, which is the clear window in the front of the eye. If the cornea becomes swollen or scarred, its smoothness and clarity may be lost, and this can scatter or distort light resulting in blurred vision.
Some patients with abnormal corneas require corneal transplantation, which is the replacement of the abnormal cornea with a donor cornea. Of all transplant surgery done today including heart, lung and kidney, corneal transplants are the most common and most successful.
Conditions that may require a corneal transplant include corneal scarring from injury or infection, corneal dystrophies, Fuchs dystrophy, keratoconus, corneal failure after cataract surgery, and rejection of a previous corneal transplant.
For certain conditions where the cornea becomes swollen such as Fuchs dystrophy, there is a newer procedure which can be effective in improving vision. It is a partial corneal transplant where only the abnormal cells of a patient’s cornea are replaced with a sheet of cells from a donor cornea. This procedure, called Descemet’s Stripping with Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK), can result in quicker healing time and less astigmatism than a standard corneal transplant.
Other conditions of the cornea which can be treated surgically include pterygium, corneal foreign body, recurrent erosion, anterior basement membrane dystrophy, nodular degeneration, and band keratopathy. Common corneal conditions which are treated medically include corneal infections and ulcers, inflammatory keratitis, and dry eye disease.
At Brightbill/Ericson Eye Associates New Vision Laser Center, Dr. Mitul Vakharia is a cornea specialist, and will take the time to educate you regarding your corneal condition and discuss with you your treatment options.For more information and to schedule an appointment, contact us today.