The cornea is the transparent layer at the front of the eye. It helps control how light enters the eye and makes up a significant portion of the eye’s overall focusing power. This major role means corneal damage or weakening can have a significant impact on your ability to see clearly. The good news is that at ICON Eyecare, we have dedicated specialists with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a range of corneal issues.
Common Corneal Conditions
Dry eye is one of the most common conditions affecting the cornea, but does not require surgery. We offer a variety of dry eye treatment options. Click the button below to learn more about dry eye and how we treat it at ICON Eyecare.
Another common condition related to the cornea are pterygiums. Pterygiums cannot be treated with medication or other methods, they must be surgically removed. At ICON Eyecare, we have specialists with years of experience in the successful removal of pterygiums. Click the button below to learn more about pterygiums and pterygium removal surgery.
A third common corneal condition that we treat at ICON Eyecare is keratoconus. Keratoconus is a condition in which a normal, dome-shaped cornea becomes progressively thinner and bulges forward, which is usually associated with increased astigmatism and decreased vision.
With keratoconus, both eyes are typically affected, though it is rare for them to progress equally. In its early stages, keratoconus may be difficult to detect because the condition develops slowly, often not presenting itself until an individual is in his or her 20s or 30s.
Symptoms of keratoconus include a gradual increase in glare and light sensitivity over time and/or a decline in vision.
Corneal Crosslinking (CXL) is an eye procedure used to stop or slow changes in vision caused by keratoconus and corneal issues and to increase the stability of the cornea. It is a favorable option as it is minimally invasive.
The Corneal Crosslinking procedure uses a Vitamin B2 solution (riboflavin) applied as drops and then exposed to UV light. The combination results in a photochemical reaction to form new stable bridges (crosslinks) between the cornea collagen fibers resulting in a stronger cornea.
Collagen is one of the essential components of the cornea. Normally there are cross-links between the collagen fibers which are responsible for the structural integrity of the cornea. These links allows the cornea to bulge outwards but only to a degree that allows for optimal vision. Some eye conditions, such as keratoconus negatively affect the collagen fibers in the eye, interfering with this optimal focus.
The entire procedure takes about 45 minutes to complete. A contact lens is then placed on the eye to protect the cornea. This is usually removed the following day.
Watch the video below to learn more about Corneal Crosslinking.
For the treatment of keratoconus and other corneal conditions, your surgeon may recommend the use of Intacs. Intacs are microthin, prescription inserts that are placed in the peripheral layer of the cornea to help reshape the steep area of the cornea.
In the event of severe corneal damage that cannot be treated with our other minimally invasive procedures, our surgeons may sometimes recommend a corneal transplant. In the event that a corneal transplant is necessary, your surgeon will walk you through every step of the way. Our expertly trained corneal specialists have years of experience with corneal surgery and transplants, so you can trust that at ICON Eyecare, you’ll be in good hands.