All About Your Cornea
The cornea is the front, clear surface of your eye. Your cornea plays a key role in your vision. Light is focused by the cornea so you can see clearly. It also serves as a barrier against dirt, germs and other things that can cause damage.
Infection, injury, keratoconus, Fuchs corneal dystrophy and some general eye problems may damage the cornea. This damage may result in blurred vision. It may also cause the cornea to become rough and irregular, which may cause pain.
Refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, which can make it difficult to see clearly, are also conditions of the cornea. These can be treated in a variety of ways, including eyeglasses, contact lenses and with refractive surgery such as LASIK or PRK.
Serious Corneal Conditions
In some cases when the cornea is damaged, surgery may be the only effective procedure to restore sight. In severe cases, a corneal transplant may help restore vision. Corneas for organ transplant are provided by the eye bank which carefully screens all corneas to ensure safety and obtains the corneas in a professional and compassionate manner. Some of these serious conditions include corneal trauma as well as the following:
- Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy – fluid builds up in the cornea, causing it to swell and thicken.
- Keratoconus – the cornea thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape. In many early cases of Keratoconus, surgery can be avoided.
- Hereditary Corneal Dystrophies – a group of genetic eye disorders in which abnormal material accumulates in the cornea.
Cornea Transplant Surgery
Endothelial Keratoplasty: Cornea transplant surgery that removes a single area of damaged tissue and replaces it with donor corneal tissue. Common abbreviations for this procedure are DMEK and DSAEK.
Keratoplasty: Cornea transplant surgery where the entire damaged cornea is replaced with donor cornea.
Dr. Sheehan was the first eye surgeon to perform these sight saving procedures in Bozeman, Montana and has helped many individuals regain sight. If you have been diagnosed with a corneal disease, Dr. Sheehan will work with you to provide the best possible treatment plan and outcome. Schedule your appointment.
Comprehensive Eye Care
From routine eye care to medical and surgical eye treatment, our ophthalmologists and optometrists are focused on your vision and the health of your whole eye.