The cornea is the transparent layer that forms the front of the eye. It plays an important role in helping you focus by controlling the amount of light/UV rays entering the eye and refracting on the retina. Along with the eyelid, it also helps shield the eye from dust, germs and debris. With all these important functions, it’s easy to see how an injury, infection or corneal condition could be serious.
Common conditions that affect the cornea include:
- Corneal abrasions and foreign objects (rest, eye patch, warm compresses)
- Allergies (antihistamines/antihistamine drops)
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye) (antibiotic drops for bacterial infections)
- Keratitis/corneal ulcers—corneal inflammation due to virus, bacteria, fungus
- Keratoconus—disease that thins the cornea and changes its shape. There are several treatments available ranging from custom contact lenses to a minimally invasive procedure that “stiffens” the corneal tissue.
- Corneal dystrophy—a range of conditions that cause the cornea to waste away