The cornea serves the eye by shielding it from germs and debris, such as dust, in a function it shares with the eyelids, eye socket, tears and sclera. The cornea, which also helps bring vision into focus, functions as the outer lens and screens the eye from damaging ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths from sunlight. The best comparison is that of a window letting in light or a camera taking a photo.
That light is refracted by the cornea onto the lens, where the light reaches the retina. The retina signals the brain, which will identify the images. If the cornea can’t perform properly, the result is blurry images.
Corneal disease and transplant procedures
The degenerative changes, which can include scar tissue that must be removed surgically, can lead to blindness and painful blisters, which also may need to be excised.
Fuchs’ dystrophy is primarily a hereditary disease that occurs in a patient’s 50s or 60s, though there are cases of development earlier in adults. Symptoms worsen over time and can include pain, sensitivity to light, night vision problems and foggy vision.
Early detection helps with treatment plans, and eye drops can help slow the progression of the disease. A corneal transplant also may be needed in late stages of Fuchs’ dystrophy.
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