Cornea

The cornea is the clear front window of the eye. It transmits light to the interior of the eye allowing us to see clearly. Corneal injury, disease, or hereditary conditions can cause clouding, distortion, and scarring. Corneal clouding, much like frost on a glass windowpane, blocks the clear passage of light to the back of the eye, reducing sight sometimes even to the point of blindness. In addition, corneal injury and disease can be painful, sometimes the most intense pain we can experience.

While not as common as corneal disease, cornea injuries can be quite serious. Knives, pencils, other sharp objects or trauma can cause severe injury to the cornea. Fireworks, exploding batteries, and toxic chemicals, especially alkalis, can also result in severe scarring of the cornea. In fact, protection of the cornea is the reason emergency washing of the eye is absolutely necessary when the eye is exposed to toxic chemicals. Most corneal injuries are preventable with protective glasses and proper precautions when dealing with hazardous substances.

Midwest Eye Care is a leader in treating corneal disease in Iowa and Nebraska.  Our surgeons perform more corneal transplants than any other practice in the region, and our surgeons have served as the medical directors for the Nebraska Lion’s Eye Bank for over three decades.  MEC surgeons were the first ophthalmologists in Nebraska to perform corneal transplant surgery, DSEK (Descemet’s stripping with endothelial keratoplasty), DALK (Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty), and artificial cornea surgery.  We feature three ophthalmologists with subspecialty fellowship training in cornea disease, allowing Midwest Eye Care to offer the broadest corneal expertise in the region. 

Please click on the topics below (or to the side) for more information on corneal disease and treatment options.

 

Corneal diseases and conditions

Acanthamoeba keratitis

Chlaymdia

Corneal ulcers

Dry eyes

Episcleritis

Fuch’s dystrophy

Herpes zoster

Herpetic keratitis

Keratoconus

Ocular rosacea

 

Treatment options

Full-thickness corneal transplant surgery (pentrating keratoplasy)

DSEK (Descemet’s stripping with endothelial keratoplasty)

DALK (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty)

PTK (photo-therapeutic keratectomy)

Artificial corneas (Boston keratoprothesis)

Corneal tissue donors