What is the cornea?
The cornea is the clear dome that forms the front surface of the eye.
What are common corneal conditions that we treat?
Some corneal conditions that require treatment include dry eye, keratoconus, pterygium, viral infections, trauma, recurrent corneal erosions, and corneal dystrophies such as Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy and epithelial basement membrane disease.
What are common symptoms?
Your cornea usually heals itself after most minor injuries or infections. But during the healing process, you might experience symptoms like pain, tearing, blurred vision, extreme sensitivity to light, burning, foreign body sensation and redness.
What are common corneal treatments?
Most corneal conditions can be treated medically with eye drops, ointments, pills, contact lenses, amniotic membranes, etc. On occasion, office procedures or surgery may be recommended to help improve your symptoms. Office procedures include the insertion of punctal plugs for dry eye or a corneal debridement with anterior stromal puncture for epithelial basement membrane disease. Surgeries include corneal transplant surgery or pterygium surgery.
Who needs cornea transplants and what is a corneal transplant?
Corneal transplantation is a surgical procedure whereby the damaged cornea is replaced with donated corneal tissue. Corneal transplantation may be recommended for patients with certain types of corneal scarring due to infections or trauma, keratoconus, corneal edema (swelling), or corneal dystrophies (such as Fuchs’).
What are the different types of corneal transplant surgery?
There are different types of corneal transplants including PK (penetrating keratoplasty), DSEK (Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty), and DALK (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty). A PK is a full thickness cornea transplant. A DSEK is a partial thickness transplant of the back surface of the cornea. A DALK is a partial thickness transplant of the front surface of the cornea. Your surgeon will recommend the best type of surgery for you and your corneal condition. Each type of surgery involves different amounts of time in the OR and variable recovery periods.