The cornea is the eye's outermost layer. It is the clear, dome shaped surface that covers the front of the eye and plays a vital role in focusing your vision. If your cornea becomes too cloudy or changes shape, your vision can be affected. An unhealthy cornea can result in a patient experiencing distorted vision, light sensitivity, irritation, blurring of vision, swelling, and/or glare. Drs. Stetchshulte, Kelley, Shah and Lembach are fellowship trained corneal specialists that can evaluate the health of your cornea to recommend a treatment that can help your vision.
During your initial consultation, our team at Arena Eye Surgeons will perform an evaluation to determine
treatment options. We will inquire about your family history as some of the disorders of the cornea can be genetically passed from family member to family member.
COMMON CORNEAL CONDITIONS AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
Keratoconus is an eye condition that leads to a permanent shape change to the cornea, causing bulging and thinning. This can ultimately cause vision loss as images are not directly focused on the retina. A patient with keratoconus can experience difficultly driving, reading, and watching television.
The treatment of keratoconus depends on the severity of the disease. In the early phases, hard contact lenses can be used to improve vision. With more advanced disease, a corneal transplantation maybe required.
Fuchs' dystrophy is an inheritable disease that causes the cornea to swell because the innermost layer of cells in the cornea undergoes degenerative changes. This cell layer, called the endothelium, is responsible for maintaining the proper amount of fluid in the cornea. The endothelium keeps the cornea clear for good vision by pumping out excess fluid that could cause corneal swelling. As the cornea swells, patient’s vision can become increasingly cloudy, and they can develop bullae or blisters which can option be painful. Depending on the severity of Fuch’s Dystrophy, treatment may involve partial corneal transplantation, either Descemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEAK) or Descemet's Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK).