What is the Cornea?
The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. It is the transparent, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. The main function of the cornea is to allow light to pass into the eye. A second important function of the cornea is to help focus light, much like a camera lens. The cornea gets its nutrients from tears and the aqueous humor.
Corneal health depends on a number of factors, including the health of the conjunctiva and of the eyelids. A damaged or unhealthy cornea becomes cloudy. Damage to the cornea may arise from various conditions such as viruses or bacterial infections, hereditary diseases, Fuchs dystrophy, keratoconus, chemical burns, or trauma. Diseases and conditions affecting the cornea can cause distorted vision or vision loss.
Common symptoms of a diseased cornea include:
Severe pain and discomfort in the eye
Foreign body sensation
Hazy or blurry vision
Redness and inflammation
Patients whose corneas are permanently clouded or injured, may require a corneal transplant. A corneal transplant involves the removal of the central portion of the diseased cornea and replacing it with a donor cornea.