Corneal diseases are diseases that effect the eyes cornea. The cornea is located within eye's outer most layer and provides a clear surface which covers the front of the eye. There are several different corneal diseases that effect the ultraviolet wavelengths of sunlight to the eye, effects the entry of light into the eye and also breaks down the shield of the cornea that protects us against harmful materials from entering the eye.
Common Corneal Diseases
The cornea is made up of five different layers: The stroma, the bowman's layer, the epithelium, the escemet's membrane, and the endothelium. When you have a corneal disease, either some or one of these layers is effected. Some common corneal diseases are:
Corneal dystrophy: Corneal dystrophy is when the cornea has a build up of cloudy looking material which in turn then causes the cornea not to see correctly or not to see clarity.
Fuchs' dystrophy: Fuchs' dystrophy is when the endothelial cells of the cornea break down which makes them less effective and able to function. In turn, this causes a distortion of vision and can cause painful corneal swelling and blisters on the cornea.
Lattice dystrophy: Lattice dystrophy is one of the corneal diseases that gradually becomes much worse over the years. Lattice dystrophy is when the protein fibers in the cornea are considered abnormal or may accumulate much faster than normal.
Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy: Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy is when the corneas nerve endings are exposed, causing severe pain to the eye area. It will cause blurred vision and at times, may appear as if there were slightly gray outlines on the eye.
Other Corneal Diseases
The above mentioned corneal diseases are the most common, however there are other corneal diseases that are rare, but do still occur. Keratoconus is another corneal disease which is extremely rare but it's characterized as the thinning of the cornea. Along with Keratoconus, there is also Ocular herpes which is basically the herpes simplex virus of the eye area. All of these corneal diseases should be caught earlier on, for a more successful treatment.
How to Treat Corneal Diseases
There are many different treatments options for those who have corneal diseases. The treatments in the early process usually consist of salt solutions to put into the eye. Sometimes, this clears up the issue all together, however other times, it does not and further action is needed. At times, corneal diseases can begin to effect your daily life and this is when you need to visit with your eye specialist.
When visiting an eye specialist talk to him or her about a corneal transplant. A corneal transplant will rid you entirely of the corneal diseases and will provide you with a fully functioning cornea. There is also the partial cornea implants option which is something you should also speak to your eye specialist about.
Corneal diseases effect more people than we think and these innovative new techniques can really change someones life. If you're considering a corneal transplant or even a partial cornea implant, it's best to do your research on the topic so you know what to expect, the cost and the way the procedure is completed.