Your Cornea is the outmost layer of your eye, if you were to think of it as an onion.
- It provides a barrier to protect your eye from dust, germs and other foreign particles that could damage the eye.It is also the eye’s outer lens.
- The cornea is essential for good vision. Incoming light is refracted onto the lens. The retina takes in the focused light and converts it to vision.
With corneal disease there are four common problems that a patient can be inflicted with.
- “Pink eye”
- Ocular herpes
- Microbial infections
- Herpes Zoster
The Microbial infections are also known as keratitis. If a foreign body pierces the cornea tissue, bacteria and fungi will cause infection resulting in inflammation and pain. In some cases patients can temporarily lose vision clarity. Treatment may include anti bacterial and anti-fungal drops, antibiotics, or a combination of both.
Perhaps the most commonly known eye disease is pink eye, a contagious disease that can be transmitted by coming in contact with the infected party. Inflammation of the conjunctiva, the protective membrane of the eyelids, occus. Treatment involves a tandem of antibiotic and steroid doses.
Ocular herpes occurs when the immune system is attacked by the Herpes Simplex I virus. The surface of the cornea develops a large and painful sore. Because it is a herpetic infection, it is incurable and recurrent but in milder cases, drops may be used. Scraping away of the infected cells with a cotton swab sometimes alleviates the symptoms.
Herpes zoster is more commonly referred to as shingles. The infection is caused by the chicken pox virus, varicella-zoster which lies dormant after the initial childhood outbreak. In some adults, the virus will reactivate and spread to the cornea. This happens in approximately 40 percent of the cases. Anti-viral medication is the common treatment.