Corneal conditions include a variety of conditions that affect mainly the cornea. These include infections, degenerations, and disorders that may arise mostly as a result of heredity.
What Is the Cornea?
The cornea is the clear, protective outer layer of the eye. It acts as a shield, protecting the eye from germs, dirt, and other particles that can harm the eye, and it also significantly contributes to the eye’s ability to focus.
The cornea plays a significant role in vision by focusing the entry of light into the eye. As light enters the eye, it is refracted, or bent, by the outside shape of the cornea. The curvature of this outer layer helps determine how well your eye can focus on objects close up and far away. Although the cornea is surprisingly strong and durable, if the cornea becomes damaged through disease, infection, or injury, the resulting scars or discoloration can interfere with vision by blocking or distorting light as it enters the eye.
What Are the Symptoms of Corneal Conditions?
With its ability for a quick repair, the cornea usually heals after most injuries or disease. However, when there is a deep injury to the cornea, the healing process may be prolonged, possibly resulting in a variety of symptoms, including:
- Pain in the eye
- Blurred or reduced vision
- Redness or inflammation in the eye
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Corneal scarring
- Headache, nausea, fatigue
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, call us to schedule an appointment. They may indicate a more serious problem or require special treatment.
What Conditions Can Damage the Cornea?
Here is a list of some of the most common corneal conditions we treat:
- Keratitis—An inflammation of the cornea.
- Corneal Infection—Viral infections affecting the eye including ocular herpes and herpes zoster (shingles).
- Corneal Abrasion—Scratches or scrapes to the surface of the cornea, caused by sharp objects such as fingernails or airborne particles.
- Keratoconus—A progressive disease in which the cornea thins and changes shape.
- Corneal Dystrophies—Genetic, often progressive, eye disorders in which abnormal material accumulates in the cornea. These include Fuchs’ Dystrophy and Lattice Dystrophy.
Although corneal disease resulting from hereditary factors, like dystrophies, cannot be prevented, vision can often be preserved through early detection and treatment. Reviewing your family’s ocular health history is helpful in looking for hereditary conditions, and regular eye exams are important for detecting eye diseases at their earliest stages.
The risk of infectious corneal disease caused by bacteria and viruses can be reduced by protecting the eye from injury, such as wearing safety glasses during sports or work and limiting physical contact with people who have contagious forms of conjunctivitis (pink eye). Avoid sharing eye makeup, contact lens solution, lens cases, and eye drops with people who are infected. Wearing contact lenses can increase people’s susceptibility to serious corneal infections, so it’s of the utmost importance to properly clean contact lenses as directed by your eye doctor.
The Cornea Team at Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region
The doctors of Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region (OCCR) have treated thousands of patients with all types of corneal conditions and diseases. OCCR is proud to now offer advanced corneal treatments in house, rather than referring patients outside the practice.
Our surgeons work with a team of our optometrists and general ophthalmologists to manage all levels of corneal disease, providing the latest technology in advanced clinical treatments and surgical procedures. Our team is committed to helping you attain your best possible vision and slowing or stopping the corneal disease in order to preserve as much of your vision as possible through the use of advanced treatments.
Five Convenient Locations
Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region has five convenient locations to serve all your eye care needs. No need to travel to the big city. You can find advanced eye care right here in your hometown.
We have offices in: