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Corneal Diseases

Corneal Diseases

 The cornea is the glass-like outermost lens of the eye whose function could be best compared to the camera lens. The cornea consists of 5 layers and each one must remain clear and transparent to maintain clear vision and to refract light properly. 

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It has a twofold function:

  • In around 75% it accounts for the eye’s focusing power. It refracts the light and focuses it to the retina, which sends the impulses to the brain. 
  • It has a protective role, covering the eye from potential environmental dangers, like germs and pollution, but also acts as a filter against harmful UV rays. 

Corneal diseases can damage both functions and must be treated by medical or surgical means to ensure life-long clear vision.

The Most Common Corneal Diseases

Corneal Dystrophy 

A group of corneal diseases that are characterized by a gradual buildup of a material that clouds vision, triggered by inherited factors rather than injury. They can result in severe vision problems, but might also remain asymptomatic.  

Corneal Infections (keratitis)

Mainly caused by bacterial or fungal infection on the cornea, they produce symptoms like pain, discharges, blurred vision and scarring. It is the most common side effect of contact lens use. This type of corneal disease reacts well to anti-bacterial eye drops, antibiotic or steroid cures. If the scarring is serious, cornea replacement might be necessary

Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

It is a contagious corneal disease that provokes burning, itching painful sensation in the eye that turns pinkish from the irritation. If not treated in time, it can lead to serious consequences, cornea replacement or loss of vision.

Fuchs Dystrophy 

It is a progressively developing corneal disease. The cells of the innermost layer of the cornea deteriorate and cannot pump water out of the upper layers of the cornea resulting in pain, swelling and vision impairment. The first sign of the disease is blurred vision after waking up, which clears during the day. When the condition worsens, the swelling and blurred vision becomes constant and patients have to consider corneal replacement surgery. 

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