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What Is Corneal Disease?

Cornea: The protective and transparent outer layer of our eye is called the Cornea.The cornea plays a key role in vision. Cornea along with sclera serves as a barricade against dust, germs, and other dirt particles that can harm the eye's delicate components. The cornea is also responsible for filtering out any of the sun's ultraviolet light.

Corneal Disease Symptoms

The cornea has a gift to repair itself quickly after an injury or any disease. Sometimes it may take a longer duration to get repaired because of the possibility that the injury is deep. Sometimes the healing process may get delayed. This could possibly result in various signs and symptoms like following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Corneal scarring
  • Extreme sensitivity to light.

If you are facing any of the above mentioned it may be start of cornea problems, it is always safe to see a doctor in order to prevent further complications. Cornea surgery is not the only option. We will help you sort it out.

What Causes Corneal Disease?

  • Hereditary
  • Eye trauma
  • Infection: Bacterial, fungal and viral infections are usual causes of corneal damage.
  • The cause of Keratoconus in most patients is unknown.
  • Age: Our aging can influence the health and clarity of the cornea.
  • Cataract and intraocular lens implant surgery: Bullous Keratopathy happens in a small percentage of patients following these procedures.
  • Use of Contact lenses
  • Certain diseases
  • Vitamin A deficiency

Types of Corneal Disease

There are various types of corneal diseases. The three principal categories are Keratoconus, Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy, and Bullous Keratopathy.

  • Keratoconus:

    Keratoconus is the thinning and weakening of the central part of the cornea. In this, a cone-shaped deformity is developed in the cornea of eye. Progression of this corneal disease can be fast, progressive or periodic. Keratoconus is a corneal disease which usually affects both eyes together, but in some cases, it can also affect any single eye.

  • Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy:

    Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy is kind of corneal disease which is usually a hereditary abnormality affecting the inner cell layer of the cornea called the 'Endothelium.' The primary purpose of this layer is to secrete fluids out from the cornea to keep it thin and crystal clear. When an unhealthy Endothelium does not pump out the fluids from the cornea, the cornea gets swelled resulting it to become cloudy and unclear vision.

  • Bullous Keratopathy:

    Bullous Keratopathy is a corneal disease in which the cornea gets swollen permanently. This condition occurs due to the inner layer of cornea means the endothelium is damaged and has lost the ability to pump out the fluids out of the cornea.


A pterygium is a thickening of the conjunctiva or mucous membrane which overlays the white part of our eye above the cornea. This harmless or non-carcinogenic growth is usually shaped like a wedge. A pterygium normally does not create any problem or requires any special treatment. Although it should be removed if it meddles with your vision. The exact cause of pterygium is not known. It is also said that too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can lead to these growth of pterygium. People whose eyes are more frequently exposed to pollen, sand, window smoke have higher possibility with having this eye problem.

Pterygium Surgery

Your doctor may recommend pterygium surgery to remove it only if medicines or eye drops don’t give relief. Pterygium surgery is usually done when a pterygium affects vision or for a condition called astigmatism. Astigmatism is a condition which results in cloudy and blurs vision.

There are also some risks linked to this pterygium surgery. In some cases, the pterygium can also come back after being surgically removed. Your eye can even feel dry and irritated after pterygium surgery. Your doctor will prescribe medications to provide relief and reduce the risk of having a pterygium grow back.

Treatment for Corneal Disease

Corneal diseases should be immediately treated to avoid severe complications like any other eye diseases and infections. Corneal transplant or corneal surgery is unavoidable to restore the vision and cornea. When the cornea becomes cloudy, other measures can be taken to prolong vision in the early stages of the disease.

Cornea Surgery

Cornea surgery or cornea transplant is called as ‘Keratoplasty’ in medical terms. It is a surgical method to replace part of the affected cornea of eye with corneal tissue from a donor. The cornea is transparent, dome-shaped surface of the eye that is almost the large part of your eye.

Cornea surgery or cornea transplant can be done to restore the vision, repair the damaged cornea and reduce the pain of the diseased cornea.

Utmost cornea surgery i.e. cornea transplants are successful. But cornea transplant bears a little risk of complications, like the rejection of the donor cornea.

Many conditions can be treated with a cornea transplant, including:

  • Clouding of the cornea
  • Keratoconus: A cornea that bulges outward
  • Complications caused by previous eye surgery
  • Fuchs' dystrophy
  • Corneal ulcers, including those caused by infection
  • Thinning of the cornea
  • Cornea scarring, caused by disease or injury
  • Swelling of the cornea

Cornea forms a large part of our eye, thus any issues regarding it should not be left unattended.Don’t worry you are in safe hands. If you observe any slightest symptoms of this eye problem, please see the doctor as soon as possible. It may cost your eye sight if ignored.

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