The cornea is the eye’s outermost tissue, covering the colored iris and round pupil. It functions like a window focusing the entry of light into the eye. The cornea also provides a physical barrier to protect the eye from environmental material. The cornea filters some of the most damaging ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths in sunlight.
When the cornea is damaged, its smoothness and clarity may be lost. The scars, swelling or irregular shape may cause the cornea to scatter or distort light, resulting in glare or blurred vision.
Corneal transplants may be required if functional vision cannot be returned by medications or special contact lenses. Conditions for corneal transplants include:
- Keratoconus, a steep curving of the cornea
- Corneal failure following other eye surgery
- Hereditary conditions
- Scarring after infections
- Rejection after corneal transplant
Pterygium is a raised, wedge-shaped growth of the conjunctiva that may grow onto the cornea. Symptoms may include irritation, redness and tearing. In many cases, the pterygium is not nourished enough to grow over the center of the cornea. If the pterygium does grow over the cornea, the vision may be affected and surgical removal is necessary.
Since the disorder is most commonly caused by sun exposure, protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays is recommended. Using artificial tears liberally is also helpful. In some cases, steroid drops are prescribed to reduce inflammation.
Corneal surgeries are performed in the Victoria Surgery Center.
- Corneal transplants
- Excision of pterygium