The team in this service treats conditions related to the outside of the eyeball, including the cornea and sclera – the tough outer layer.
Conditions treated by clinicians in this service include keratoconus, corneal ulcers and infections, allergy, meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eyes. Surgeons perform different types of corneal surgery including transplants ( grafts).
What is the cornea?
The cornea is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye. The cornea helps your eye to focus light so you can see clearly.
What are the main types of corneal conditions?
There are several common conditions that affect the cornea.
Small abrasions (scratches) on the cornea usually heal on their own. Deeper scratches or other injuries can cause corneal scarring and vision problems.
Allergies to pollen can irritate the eyes and cause allergic conjunctivitis (pink eye). This can make your eyes red, itchy, and watery.
Keratitis is inflammation (redness and swelling) of the cornea. Infections related to contact lenses are the most common cause of keratitis.
Dry eye happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears to stay wet. This can be uncomfortable and may cause vision problems.
Corneal dystrophies cause cloudy vision when material builds up on the cornea. These diseases usually run in families.
- Keratoconus is an eye condition in which the normally round dome-shaped clear window of the eye (cornea) progressively thins causing a cone-shaped bulge to develop.
- Keratoconus is an eye condition in which the normally round dome-shaped clear window of the eye (cornea) progressively thins causing a cone-shaped bulge to develop. The condition normally develops during your teens or twenties, and often gets worse gradually over time. The speed of change and severity varies between affected people.
Keratoconus and vision
The change in shape and thinning of the cornea impairs the ability of the eye to focus properly, causing poor vision. In advanced cases, some patients may develop scarring in the cornea, which can make the sight blurred by reducing the amount of light which can enter the eye.
In the early stages, spectacles or soft contact lenses may adequately correct vision. As the cornea becomes thinner and steeper, rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses are often required to correct vision. In very advanced cases, where contact lenses fail to improve vision, a corneal transplant may be needed.
Corneal collagen crosslinking
Corneal cross-linking (also known as CXL) is a new treatment that can stop keratoconus getting worse. Also known as C3R, it uses ultraviolet light and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) drops to stiffen (and strengthen) the cornea to prevent further steepening and thinning in the future. It is effective in over 90% of patients.
There are also a number of less common diseases that can affect the cornea Ã¢â‚¬â€ including ocular herpes, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, iridocorneal endothelial syndrome, and pterygium.
Consultants who work in this service: Mr I Sian,
Dr D Cadman Associate specialist
Sue Bryan Senior Optometrist
Nurse Practitioner: Camelia Vasile