The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface covering the front of your eye. It’s main function is to help your eye focus. This vital part of your vision can develop several different conditions.
Diseases and Disorders of the Cornea
Diseases and disorders can affect your cornea to result in vision loss or eye discomfort. Some conditions affect only the topmost layer of the cornea, such as when an allergen makes contact with the cornea, resulting in irritation or watery eyes. Cornea conditions affecting the nerves in and near the cornea may cause pain, as can trauma resulting in cuts or abrasions of the cornea. Conditions that affect either the clarity or the curvature of your cornea to cause vision loss.
Problems with your cornea can include:
- Refractive errors, which are changes to the shape of the cornea that prevent you from focusing well
- Corneal dystrophies, a group of diseases characterized by the accumulation of abnormal materials in the cornea
- Corneal abrasions, which are scratches to the clear cornea
- Allergies, especially to pollens
- Keratitis, which is inflammation of the cornea caused by injury or infection
- Dry eye resulting from inadequate tear production or low quality tears
Some conditions affect your cornea directly, such as refractive errors. Other eye conditions, such as dry eye, eyelid disorders, and glaucoma can cause secondary damage to your cornea. Abnormalities in the tear film, which is an oily layer that help reduce evaporation of your natural tears, can also damage your cornea.
Other diseases can affect your corneas, including shingles, herpes of the eye, iridocorneal endothelial (ICE) syndrome that affects the colored iris of the eye, and the skin condition Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
Treatments for Corneal Diseases
Eye surgeons provide a variety of treatments for corneal diseases, from medications to surgical procedures. Treatments for corneal diseases vary, depending on the condition and severity. Superficial corneal abrasions often heal on their own, for example, while severe abrasions require antibiotic ointment to prevent infection, steroids to decrease inflammation and scarring, and a medication to relieve pain and sensitivity to light. Eye doctors prescribe medications to decrease inflammation in keratitis and antihistamine decongestant eye drops to alleviate allergy symptoms affecting the eyes. Eye surgeons perform LASIK surgery to correct refractive errors to help patients see more clearly.
Not all treatments are right for everyone. To find out which treatments are best for your cornea problem, consult with your eye surgeon. Your doctor will gather information about your eye problem and health history, and perform a thorough eye examination to diagnose possible issues with your cornea and review your treatment options.
Florida Eye Specialists is the largest group of fellowship-trained eye surgeons in Northeast Florida. Our experienced eye doctors use the most advanced technology available for the diagnosis and treatment of corneal disease.
If you are concerned about corneal disease, consult with our eye surgeons at one of the convenient Florida Eye Specialist locations around Jacksonville. You can Request your appointment online or call us today to schedule a consultation.