What is the cornea?
CORNEA IS THE WINDSHIELD OF THE EYE
The cornea is a dome-shaped, clear, outermost lens of the eye which covers the anterior chamber, iris and pupil. It functions as a convex lens & along with the intraocular lens helps to focus light on the retina and forms a clear image. The cornea is responsible for almost 60% of our vision.
Corneal disease is a serious condition that can cause clouding, distortion, scarring and eventually blindness.
When to get help right away ?
If you have:
1 - Intense eye pain
2 - Change in vision
3 - Blurry vision
4 - Very red, watery eyes
5 - An object stuck in your eye
6 - A serious eye injury or trauma — like getting hit hard in the eye
If it feels like something’s stuck in your eye?
1 - Try rinsing your eye with clean water or saline (salt) solution
2 - Try pulling your upper eyelid down over your lower eyelid
3 - Don’t rub your eye — you could scratch your cornea
4 - If an object is stuck in your eye, don’t try to remove it yourself — go to your eye doctor
5 - Try blinking several times
There are many types of corneal ailmemts.
Small abrasions (scratches) on the cornea usually heal on their own. Deeper scratches or other injuries can cause corneal scarring and vision problems.
Allergies to pollen can irritate the eyes and cause allergic conjunctivitis (pink eye). This can make your eyes red, itchy, and watery.
Keratitis is inflammation (redness and swelling) of the cornea. Infections could be due to virus, bacterial fungal or contact lenses related too
4. DRY EYE.
Our eyes need tears to stay healthy and comfortable. If your eyes do not produce enough tears, it is called dry eye.
Dry eye is also when your eyes do not make the right type of tears or tear film. This can be uncomfortable and may cause vision problems.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Here are some of the symptoms of dry eye.
• You feel like your eyes are stinging and burning.
• Blurred vision, especially when reading
• There is a scratchy or gritty feeling like something is in your eye.
• There are strings of mucus in or around your eyes.
• Your eyes are red or irritated. This is especially true when you are in the wind or near cigarette smoke.
• It is painful to wear contact lenses.
• You have lots of tears in your eyes. Having a lot of tears in your eyes with dry eye might sound odd. But your eyes make more tears when they are irritated by dry eye.
Dry Eye Causes
People tend to make fewer tears as they get older due to hormonal changes.
Both men and women can get dry eye.
However, it is more common in women—especially those who have gone through menopause.
Here are some other causes of dry eye:
1. Prime importance is due to long hours of screen exposure ( TV / Laptop / IPAD/ mobile screens)
2. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, thyroid disease, and lupus
3. Blepharitis (when eyelids are swollen or red)
4. Being in smoke, wind or a very dry climate
5. Using contact lenses for a long time
6. Having refractive eye surgery, such as LASIK
7. Entropion (when eyelids turn in); ectropion (eyelids turn outward)
8. Taking certain medicines, such as:
- Diuretics (water pills) for high blood pressure
- Beta-blockers, for heart problems or high blood pressure
- Allergy and cold medicines (antihistamines)
- Sleeping pills
- Anxiety and antidepressant medicines
- Heartburn medicines
Tell your ophthalmologist about all the prescription and non-prescription medicines you take.
It is a weakening and thinning of the central cornea. The cornea develops a cone-shaped deformity. Progression can be rapid, gradual or intermittent.
Keratoconus usually occurs in both eyes, but can occur in only one eye. Keratoconus also is associated with overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, excessive eye rubbing, a history of poorly fitted contact lenses and chronic eye irritation.
Keratoconus treatment In the mildest form of keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help. But as the disease progresses and the cornea thins and becomes increasingly more irregular in shape, glasses and regular soft contact lens designs no longer provide adequate vision correction.
Treatments for progressive keratoconus include:
1. Corneal crosslinking:
This procedure, also called corneal collagen cross-linking or CXL, strengthens corneal tissue to halt bulging of the eye's surface in keratoconus.
Corneal crosslinking may reduce significantly the need for corneal transplants among keratoconus patients. It also is being investigated as a way to treat or prevent complications following LASIK or other vision correction surgery.
2. Customised ROSE K lenses and Scleral and semi-scleral lenses
In some cases of advanced keratoconus, only the anterior surface of the cornea is replaced by a procedure called DALK ( Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty ) or in severe cases full thickness cornea transplant, also called a penetrating keratoplasty (PK or PKP)
6. CORNEAL DYSTROPHIES
Corneal dystrophies cause cloudy vision when material builds up on the cornea.
These diseases usually run in families.
A pterygium is a growth of the conjunctiva or mucous membrane that covers the white part of your eye over the cornea. The cornea is the clear front covering of the eye. This benign or noncancerous growth is often shaped like a wedge. A pterygium usually doesn’t cause problems or require treatment, but it can be removed if it interferes with your vision.
The exact cause of pterygium isn’t known. One explanation is that too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can lead to these growths. It occurs more often in people who live in warm climates and spend a lot of time outdoors in sunny or windy environments. People whose eyes are exposed to certain elements on a regular basis have a higher risk of developing this condition.
These elements include: Sunlight, smoke, wind.