Cornea Diseases and Disorders – Greenbelt, MD

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About The Cornea

The cornea is the clear tissue that serves as the window to the front of the eye. It is the main focusing element of the specialized cameras that we use to visualize our world. It also provides protection from outside elements, like dirt, dust, and germs. A healthy cornea should be shaped like a dome — not too round and not too oblong. The cornea's shape determines the angle that light enters the eye, which makes it integral to clear vision. If light enters the eye at an incorrect angle, it can't reach the lens or retina at the correct angle either. There are several eye diseases and issues that will impact the cornea's shape and clarity, which in turn can cause reduced vision and reduced overall eye health.

Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons is proud to stay at the forefront of ophthalmology technology, including advanced treatment of corneal diseases. Dr. Solomon takes part in many clinical trial research studies to discover new ways to help people see the world clearly. We invite you to read on to learn more about the types of treatments we provide. Schedule an exam at our Greenbelt or Bowie, MD office to find out how we can help you move past corneal problems.

Diseases and Disorders

At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, our board-certified ophthalmologists are extensively trained and experienced in treating both common and rare corneal conditions. The conditions we most commonly see include:

Keratoconus – A progressive condition that causes the cornea to weaken and thin, which gradually changes the shape of the cornea and impairs vision

Corneal Abrasion – A superficial injury to the top layer of the cornea, for example, a fingernail scratch or a scratch from dirt entering the eye

Corneal Ulcer – An unhealed corneal wound or sore commonly resulting from injury, overuse of contact lenses, infection, or dehydration

Keratitis – Corneal inflammation that may be viral, fungal, or bacterial or could be caused by eye injury or trauma

Pterygium – A noncancerous growth of fatty tissue on the eye often with observable blood vessels that typically first appear on the sclera but can grow enough to cover the cornea

Corneal Dystrophy – An umbrella term referring to more than 20 hereditary eye diseases that lead to the progressive, abnormal accumulation of cloudy tissue in the cornea

Symptoms

While many corneal conditions have obvious symptoms, others may not cause symptoms right away or at all. This is one reason it is so important to have regular comprehensive eye exams at Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons. If symptoms are present, they can range from mild to severe, and if left untreated, some can cause significant pain or even vision loss. 

Many common corneal diseases and disorders have the following symptoms:

  • Red, swollen, inflamed eyes
  • Pain or discomfort in the eye
  • Blurry, hazy, or skewed vision
  • Fatigue
  • Light sensitivity
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea

Patients suffering from a corneal disorder or injury may experience one or more of these symptoms, or possibly none of them, depending on the issue. 

Causes

Most corneal conditions are genetic so if anyone in your family has one, that means your chances are higher for having it as well. If this is the case for you, it is extra important for you to have comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis. In many cases, diagnosing and treating a corneal condition early on is the patient's best chance for avoiding vision loss.

Early diagnosis and treatment are also important in cases of non-hereditary corneal conditions, such as infections or injury. 

Treatment Options

The surgeons at Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons are dedicated to staying on top of the newest and most innovative advances in ophthalmology technology. Some of the corneal treatments we are proud to have the skill and technology to provide include: 

UV Riboflavin CXL (Corneal Cross-Linking)
Corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive procedure that strengthens the bonds between collagen fibers within the cornea in order to slow or arrest corneal thinning and weakening. CXL is particularly beneficial to patients with keratoconus. 

Corneal Transplant (DSEK, DSAEK, DMEK, DALK, and PKP)
A cornea has five layers, and a corneal transplant can be performed to replace any or all of the layers, depending on where the problem lies. Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) and Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) both address the endothelial layer, their only difference being that DSAEK is the partially automated version of the procedure. Descemet's Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK), as its name suggests, involves the Descemet membrane, which is the membrane between the stroma and the endothelium. A DALK (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty) involves the stroma, and penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) is a full-thickness transplant of the cornea.

INTACS® Corneal Implants
Used to address corneal distortion caused by keratoconus, and sometimes, to reduce myopia, INTACS are nearly microscopic, crescent-shaped devices that are implanted around edges of the cornea into the stroma. The strategic placement of the implants can create a very slight pressure to the cornea, changing its shape enough to reduce refractive error without removing any corneal tissue.

Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)
A phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) is a laser surgery used to remove issues like scar tissue, opacities, or corneal dystrophy that lie deeper than the surface epithelium. PTK is similar in duration and procedure to LASIK surgery.

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Comprehensive Care

At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are fully dedicated to providing the most effective, state-of-the-art treatments for our patients. When you come to Greenbelt or Bowie, MD for our care, we will always perform a comprehensive exam and utilize the most cutting-edge diagnostics to determine your optimal treatment. Call or contact us today to take the first steps toward better vision.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.