In your eye, the cornea is the thin, clear, rounded layer of surface tissue. The cornea acts like a window letting light pass through.
Red, Puffy, Inflamed Eyes…Disorders of the Cornea
In your eye, the cornea is the thin, clear, rounded layer of surface tissue. The cornea acts like a window letting light pass through. A healthy cornea bends or refracts light rays so they land right on the back of the eye where the retina is located.
Disease, infection, injury, inflammation, medications, nutrition, immune weakness, lenses, and extreme weather conditions can cause the cornea and conjunctiva, to become irritated, to swell or to degrade physically resulting in cloudy or reduced vision. Some corneal disorders cause pain as well as that vision loss. Here are just some common diseases and disorders of cornea:
- Bullous Keratopathy
- Conjunctivitis (“Pink Eye”)
- Dry Eye
- Glaucoma (High Eye Pressure)
- Corneal Dystrophies including Fuchs’ Dystrophy and Lattice Dystrophy
- Keratitis (Viral Inflammation)
- Ocular Herpes
- Ocular Surface Disease (OSD)
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
“Dr. Cianni and staff were very professional. Dr. Cianni took the time to explain her recommendations for me and to answer all my questions thoroughly. ” - Lisa L.
I can treat corneal and conjunctival disorders and the underlying eye problem in a variety of ways…too many to actually list here. In fact, the good news is that some conditions resolve on their own. Others can be treated with medication. If the cornea is severely damaged or if I determine that there is a risk of blindness, I might even recommend a corneal transplant.
Injury, infection or disease can make the cornea cloudy or misshapen. In these cases, a corneal transplant could be your best option. During surgery, your cornea is replaced with one from a human donor. The transplant is performed under local anesthesia and the new cornea carries little risk of rejection. My corneal transplants last for many years. Best news of all: the procedure is done on an outpatient basis right in the office.
The latest technique in corneal transplantation is Descemet-stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty, or DSAEK, and gives patients the best post-operative vision because only a smaller amount of tissue is transplanted. Recovery time is short too. DSAEK is pain-free by virtue of its local anesthesia and done on an outpatient basis.
If you don’t qualify for a corneal transplant, I can also offer keratoprosthesis is an alternative. It is FDA-approved and thousands of keratoprosthesis procedures have been safely performed for years. This option uses an artificial cornea of clear plastic.
All over the world, keratoprosthesis is actually the most popular alternative for cornea transplantation. It is performed in ambulatory surgery centers like the one in our office and done under local anesthesia. General anesthesia may be used on infants and children. The keratoprosthesis is inserted onto a graft and stitched into the cornea. When I perform this procedure, I take out the natural clouded lens, if it’s still, and insert a soft contact lens into the eye. This lens is worn daily but can be taken out. This lens can be colored to match the the color of your other eye. Keratoprosthesis typically takes about an hour and a half to perform. The procedure is done often on an outpatient basis.
These corneal implants are clear, thin lenses similar to soft contact lenses but they are designed to correct the shape of the cornea. Two half-ring lenses are put are the edge of the cornea and work from within to reshape the cornea correcting mild nearsightedness. Intacs are also being used to treat keratoconus, which is a weakening and thinning of the cornea. Intacs implants are FDA-approved and usually give patients 20/20 vision. With you no longer depend need glasses or contact lenses. After surgery, there is no maintenance and the lenses can’t be felt or seen but can be replaced if your prescription changes.