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Corneal Disease of the Eye
What is the Cornea?
Just like a camera, the human eye has many distinct parts that must function together to produce clear vision. The eye converts light into an electrical signal. The optic nerve transmits that signal to the brain. The brain converts this electrical signal into an image.
One important part of the eye that focuses your vision is the cornea – the eye’s outermost layer. There are many types of disorders that can affect this vital aspect of the eye, from simple allergies to complex infections. Continue reading below to learn more about corneal diseases, and how your ophthalmologists recommend treating them.
What does the cornea do?
Before we dive into the different corneal diseases, we should first understand the basics of how the cornea works. When light enters the eye it initially encounters the tear film. The tear film coats the cornea, which is like the crystal clear window of the eye.
The cornea is clear, dome-shaped, and covers the front of the eye. It is made of tissues; though unlike other tissues in the body that rely on blood vessels to nourish and protect it, the cornea relies on tears and a fluid called “aqueous.” This fluid resides behind the cornea in the anterior chamber. Aqueous is responsible for maintaining eye pressure. Any trouble with aqueous production or drainage can lead to high pressure within the eye, causing glaucoma. Meanwhile, inadequate tear production can lead to dry eye syndrome.
Corneal Conditions, Disorders, & Diseases
Protecting the eyes from excessive ultraviolet light with proper sunglasses, avoiding dry, dusty conditions, and using artificial tears are all recommended ways of treating and preventing pterygiums. If a pterygium becomes red and irritated, eyedrops or ointments can be used to help reduce the inflammation. If the pterygium grows large enough to threaten sight it will need to be surgically removed by your ophthalmologist.