Corneal Health in Delray Beach, FL

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What is a Cornea?

The cornea is the clear structure that covers the front portion of the eye. Its primary role in vision is to refract (bend) light, allowing us to see clearly. A number of eye conditions can impact the outermost layer of the cornea or the corneal epithelium, including keratitis, corneal dystrophy, abrasions, infection, ulcers, foreign body dislodgement, corneal edema (corneal swelling), scarring, and more. Such diseases of the eye cornea can be very painful and may affect your vision. At Rothchild Eye Institute, our cornea specialist provides advanced corneal surgeries, including Lamellar keratectomy (or corneal scraping) and foreign body removal, to treat these types of eye conditions. Contact our Delray Beach, FL, ophthalmology practice for more on how these procedures might improve your corneal health.

What Are The Benefits Of Corneal Health?

Maintaining optimal corneal health provides patients with a variety of benefits for their overall eye health. The cornea plays a vital role in vision; proper care and treatment are essential to keep your vision clear and comfortable. Corneal treatments can address several symptoms and improve visual acuity. For instance, by addressing a dry cornea with proper treatment, the uncomfortable symptoms that accompany this condition can be alleviated. Treatment can also prevent dry eye scarring, ensuring a smooth corneal surface for better vision. Protecting your eyes by maintaining corneal health and seeking proper treatment for corneal conditions can improve your vision and your overall eye health.

What some of the symptoms of corneal conditions?

While corneal disease symptoms vary from patient to patient, you may experience a few common signs that point to a damaged cornea or corneal irritation. Common symptoms discussed by patients include the following:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye redness or irritation
  • Distorted or blurry vision
  • Eye discomfort or pain
  • Inflammation in one or both eyes
  • Corneal scarring

Discover more about corneal diseases by scheduling an appointment with our experienced team at Rothchild Eye Institute.

What Are Some of the Causes of Corneal Diseases?

Corneal diseases can be caused by a variety of factors, impacting the cornea's ability to function properly. Some of the primary causes include:

  • Infections: Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can lead to inflammation and damage.
  • Injuries: Scratches, abrasions, or foreign objects can cause corneal trauma.
  • Genetic conditions: Hereditary disorders like corneal dystrophies can affect corneal health.
  • Autoimmune diseases: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can lead to corneal complications.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Lack of essential vitamins, particularly Vitamin A, can impair corneal health.

How Are Corneal Conditions Diagnosed?

The extent of testing for a corneal condition will depend on what condition is being diagnosed. However, many corneal conditions can be diagnosed as part of your routine eye exam. These eye exams will check for abrasions on the cornea and may include dilation and other testing as needed.

How Are Corneal Surgeries Performed?

A comprehensive eye exam is the first step in identifying corneal diseases or cornea-related diseases that require advanced care. Our eye specialists may use eye drops containing fluorescein dye to better visualize corneal damage and determine treatment needs. The following corneal surgeries are generally conducted under local anesthetic and with the use of a slit lamp for magnification and illumination.

  • Lamellar keratectomy may be performed to remove damaged areas and debride the superficial cornea layer. Our eye surgeon will use a small brush or fine instrument to gently remove irregular cells from corneal tissue. The corneal surface may then be reshaped and polished for smoothness.
  • Corneal foreign body removal is performed to extract an obstruction (such as a fleck of sand, glass, or metal) that is embedded in the corneal tissue. Using a sterile spud or other ophthalmic instruments, our eye surgeon will carefully remove the foreign body and smooth the corneal layer.
  • Partial or total corneal transplant: We are pleased to treat corneal swelling in Delray Beach, FL, by offering partial or total corneal transplants. This treatment may be necessary if you develop corneal edema after cataract surgery or something else. During this treatment, we will replace damaged layers of the cornea so we can replace it with healthy donor tissue.

Following corneal scraping or foreign body removal at Rothchild Eye Institute, a soft contact lens may be placed on the eye to serve as a bandage. This can help enhance healing and comfort during the recovery phase. It's also important to follow up with yearly eye exams to manage your ocular health.

Corneal Health FAQ

Can a damaged cornea heal itself?

Though the cornea can often recover from relatively minor injuries without any medical help, it is always a good idea to have a professional ensure there is no lasting damage. Scratches to the cornea can cause significant impairment and long-term adverse effects that can be avoided through timely treatment by a member of our team.

Can a damaged cornea lead to blindness?

In many cases, quick and effective medical treatment can restore the eyesight of the patient. However, if left untreated for long enough, there are some conditions, such as keratitis, that could lead to lasting damage and even blindness. In fact, damage to the cornea is the leading cause of blindness across the globe.

Can dry eyes damage the cornea?

Yes. If severe dry eyes are not treated, the condition can lead to a variety of side effects, including inflammation, abrasion, ulcers, and vision loss. Our expert team is able to treat dry eyes before they can damage the cornea or any other part of the eye.

Expert Corneal Care

When it comes to corneal foreign body removal or cornea disease treatment in Delray Beach, FL, it is essential to partner with an ophthalmology specialist who is an expert in this form of care. To learn more about Lamellar keratectomy or other procedures, please contact Rothchild Eye Institute to schedule an appointment. Our ophthalmology practice in Delray Beach, FL, proudly accepts Medicare, various insurance plans, and third-party financing through CareCredit®.

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