Understanding Cornea Disease
The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped part of the eye and plays a significant role in the focus and clarity of vision. Irregularities in the shape or certain diseases can negatively impact the cornea and subsequent vision and lead to:
LASIK and PRK can be used to correct this problem by adjusting the shape of the cornea.
Two of the most common cornea conditions are dry eye syndrome and keratoconus. Our cornea specialists can assess your individual concerns and recommend a treatment plan that is best crafted for your needs.
Dry Eye Syndrome
When your eyes produce insufficient amounts of natural tears or when your tears can’t correctly lubricate the surface of your eye, dryness occurs. This can cause an uncomfortable, scratchy sensation and may even affect visual acuity.
Dry eye is more common than you may think — it affects 16 million Americans every year. There are several things you can do to keep your eyes healthy.
- Feeling like there is something in your eye
- Stinging or burning feelings in your eye
- Red eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Are age 50 or older
- Are female
- Wear contact lenses
- Lacking vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acids
- Have certain autoimmune conditions, like lupus or Sjögren syndrome
Treatment for dry eye is dependent on the reason for your symptoms. There are a few different types of treatment that can ease your symptoms and help keep your eyes healthy.
- Artificial Tears (most common treatment for mild dry eye)
- Moisturizing gels and ointments
If your dry eye is more serious, your eye doctor may give you a prescription for medicines that can help your eyes make more tears.
Tear Duct Plugs
If tears are draining too quickly from your eyes, your doctor may suggest putting special plugs in your tear ducts to help keep tears in your eyes.
Keratoconus occurs when the cornea is progressively thinning, initiating the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity.
Symptoms to Keep an Eye On
Keratoconus generally makes its first appearance in individuals who are in their late teens or early twenties. It may advance for years, and then slow or stabilize. Each eye may be affected at different levels of severity.
In the early stages of keratoconus, people might experience:
- Slight blurring of vision
- Distortion of vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
Due to being responsible for focusing most of the light that comes into the eye, keratoconus can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life.
Corneal Cross-Linking- A standard solution for Keratoconus with outstanding results
Cross-linking is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that blends the use of UVA light and riboflavin eye drops to boost stiffness in corneas that have been damaged. Cross-linking is considered one of the treatment options for keratoconus and corneal ectasia.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is important for both cell growth and production. Under the conditions used for corneal collagen cross-linking, riboflavin 5’- phosphate functions as a photo enhancer which enables the cross-linking reaction to occur.
Ultra-Violet A (UVA)
UVA is the weakest of the three types of invisible light rays given off by the sun. A UV light source is applied to the cornea after it has been soaked in the photo-enhancing riboflavin solution. By increasing the number of molecular bonds, or cross-links, in the collagen, the cornea is strengthened.
Do you qualify for treatment?
Patients over 14 years old who have been diagnosed with progressive keratoconus or corneal ectasia should ask their doctor about corneal cross-linking.
Discover the highest level of care
We offer the first and only therapeutic products for corneal cross-linking which have been FDA approved to treat progressive keratoconus. This approval provides an effective treatment for patients who, until recently, had no therapeutic options to limit the progression of this sight-threatening disease.