Corneal Diseases Treated at Woolfson Eye Institute
In general, the cornea deals very well with minor injuries or abrasions even though it is highly sensitive. If the cornea is scratched, healthy cells slide over quickly and patch the injury before infection occurs and vision is affected. If the scratch penetrates the cornea more deeply, however, the healing process will take longer, at times resulting in greater pain, blurred vision, tearing, redness, and extreme sensitivity to light. These symptoms and other medical conditions require professional treatment from your expert Woolfson Eye Institute (WEI) surgeons. Deeper scratches can cause corneal scarring, resulting in a haze on the cornea that can greatly impair vision and often requires a corneal transplant.
How does the cornea become damaged?
Sometimes the cornea is damaged after a foreign object has penetrated the tissue, such as from a poke in the eye. At other times, bacteria or fungi from a contaminated contact lens or other foreign object can pass into the cornea. These situations can cause painful inflammation and a corneal infection called keratitis that reduces visual clarity, produces corneal discharges, and perhaps erodes the cornea or leads to corneal scarring. Typically, the deeper the corneal infection, the more severe the symptoms and the complications.
Although relatively infrequent, corneal infections are also the most serious complication of contact lens wear. Minor corneal infections are commonly treated with anti-bacterial drops. If the problem is severe, it may require more intensive antibiotic or anti-fungal treatment, as well as steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation. Frequent visits to your doctor may be necessary for several months to eliminate the problem.
Some corneal conditions require immediate medical attention
There are many corneal conditions that require special medical attention, and we treat many of these using the Woolfson Ophthalmology Difference that blends unique surgical experience with the greatest ranges of technologies and techniques including the latest, most innovative approaches.
As the cornea begins to stretch forward, the refractive power of the cornea increases, and the eye becomes more myopic (nearsighted), then as the corneal curvature becomes distorted and uneven, it may produce more of an astigmatism. This is known as Keratoconus. Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL) is the suggested treatment for those with keratoconus. CXL is the only known procedure for keratoconus that can help patients keep from progressing and worsening over time. CXL adds a bond between the collagen fibers in your eye, cross-linking, to help your cornea become more stable. Doctors use a combination of eyedrop medication and ultraviolet (UV) light to also make these tissues stronger. The goal in CXL is to keep the cornea from bulging out anymore.