The cornea is the part of the eye’s outermost layer. This clear and dome-shape surface is located at the front of the eye, and provides protection from UV radiation and focuses light for clear vision. The cornea has five layers, each which has an import function. All layers should be clear to ensure proper vision. If any of the layers are impacted by corneal disease or other conditions, it can greatly impact one’s ability to see clearly.
What Happens If The Cornea Is Injured?
Trauma to the cornea can be concerning. However, the cornea can often recover and heal from minor injuries, such as a scratch or infection. However, deep scratches and trauma can have more of an impact and require much more time to heal. In the meantime, patients might experience tearing, blurred vision, redness, light sensitivity, and even pain. Professional treatment may be needed if deep scratches occur that can impair vision permanently. In situations such as this, a medical professional might recommend a corneal transplant.
What Other Conditions Can Affect The Cornea?
There are several situations in which the patient may experience problems with their cornea. Some of the more common conditions include the following:
- Corneal infection – an infection caused from bacteria or injury can become a more serious problem, sometimes known as keratitis. This is a rare but serious complication that impacts patients who wear contacts. Minor infections are often treated with eye drops, while more severe infections may require antibiotic treatment.
- Corneal disease – corneal disease is a condition that can impact the cornea and result in vision distortion, clouding, and even total blindness. There are several types of corneal disease that may impact the eyesight and may require treatment.
- Dry eye – dry eye can cause patients to produce less tears and result in the inability for the eye to keep itself moist. Most patients who have dry eye can improve the condition with the use of over-the-counter or prescription eye drops to avoid further problems.
- Corneal dystrophies – there are over 20 varieties of corneal dystrophies that may impact one’s health, and most cases of them are inherited and not the result of lifestyle or health factors. Some common dystrophies include Fuchs’ dystrophy, keratoconus, granular dystrophy, and lattice dystrophy.
- Herpes zoster – herpes zoster, or “shingles,” is an infection resulting from the varicella-zoster virus—the same virus that is responsible for chickenpox. The virus remains int eh body as invasive but may be reactivated later as shingles. Shingles can cause an infection in the cornea, as well as nerve issues and rashes on the skin.
Learn More About Corneal Disease Today
At Southside Eye Care, our providers are here to assist Chesapeake, VA patients achieve and maintain better vision and eye health. If you reside in the community and are interested in working with our doctors, call (757) 484-0101. Drs. Michael Keverline, Theodore Hallberg, and Elizabeth Chiang can assist individuals at their facility, conveniently located at 3206 Churchland Boulevard.