in Buffalo, NY and Rochester, NY
Many eye conditions that the eye doctors at our member practices treat affect the eye’s cornea, causing sudden changes in vision. These symptoms can indicate a range of different conditions. Fortunately, many of our locations have doctors on-site with experience in cases of corneal disease, who can quickly identify the root of the problem and get you the cornea treatment and relief you need.
Note: not all services mentioned are offered at every location. Please call your preferred provider to find out what care they can offer you!
What is the Cornea?
The cornea is a thin, clear layer of tissue that forms the front of the eye. Its primary job is to precisely refract light into the back of the eye, which helps focus eyesight.
Due to its position at the front of the eye, the cornea also acts as a protective cover for the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber of the eye. This makes it susceptible to damage, injury, infection, and a variety of other corneal conditions.
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Common Corneal Conditions
The cornea is unlike other parts of the eye in that it’s not only crucial to vision and somewhat delicate, it’s also uniquely unprotected. This makes it important to inspect during an eye exam, especially if a patient begins experiencing eye pain or changes in vision. There are many conditions that can affect the cornea and ultimately cause problems with eyesight, but the following are the most common:
Dry eye disease is a condition that occurs when your tears aren’t doing their job effectively for a variety of reasons, leaving you with itchy, irritated, red, and dry-feeling eyes. Treatment usually involves specialized eye drops, eyelid cleansing products, or in-office treatments. Just as your dry eye is unique, treatment solutions can be tailored to your specific case.
Keratoconus is a condition where a thinning cornea bulges outward in a shape like a cone. It often develops in teens and young adults, and can be caused by genetics, the environment, or excessive eye rubbing. This changing shape of the cornea can lead to blurry vision, scarring, and eye health complications. We can correct vision and treat keratoconus with specialty lenses.
Corneal Infections and Ulcers
The cornea is prone to infection caused by disease, exposure, and injury. Infections can also lead to ulcers, or small open sores on the cornea. Symptoms can include a “stabbing” pain in the eye, watery eyes, redness, and itching, and if left untreated, vision degradation or permanent damage. Treatment should be started as early as possible, often with an antibiotic or steroidal eye drop.
Foreign objects injuring the eye, excessive eye rubbing due to dryness or allergies, and some types of eye surgery all can cause corneal trauma. You may experience discomfort, pain, light sensitivity, blurry vision, or a gritty feeling in your eye as a result. Every case requires its own treatment plan, often including drops or specialty contacts, and should be managed carefully to avoid worsening the trauma.
Once a diagnosis has been made, many of the practices across our network have advanced tools at their disposal to help alleviate pain and heal damage caused by your cornea conditions.
Some cases are relatively simple and can be treated with solutions such as topical ointments or eye drops that relieve pain, aid healing, and provide surface-level protection.
Other cases can require specialized contact lenses — for example, scleral lenses and other rigid gas permeable lenses can completely cover and shield the cornea, trap a hydrating tear reservoir between the lens and eye, and allow for greater oxygen flow to the eye, all of which help protect the eye and promote healing.
Experienced Cornea Doctors
at Your Local Eye Doctor Practices
There are many different issues that can impact the cornea. Fortunately, the eye doctors at Your Local Eye Doctors locations are exceptional when it comes to corneal conditions. They’ll get you the individualized treatment and relief that you need, and help you return to living a healthy life with clear, comfortable vision!