Cornea is an essential part of the eye. Externally, it is the first layer that helps in focusing the incoming light. Understandably, the cornea has to be healthy for a healthy eye and vision.
Cornea is made of proteins and highly ordered cells with nerve endings. Any change in its transparency and consistency of the structure impacts our vision.
Given the importance of the cornea, 3 commonly occurring corneal conditions have been enlisted with its symptoms and treatment.
Generally, almost everyone encounters eye allergies at some stage of our life. Their causes include airborne factors like dust and dander, pollen, mold, dust mites, polluted smoke, incense sticks smoke etc. Most of the eye allergies are mild and do not have any effect on the cornea. However, some severe and chronic forms of allergies like Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis and Atopic Keratoconjunctivitis can affect the cornea. Various affections like corneal astigmatism, keratoconus, corneal abrasions, shield ulcers, corneal scars and vascularization etc can happen as complications of these allergies if not treated properly and timely.
Irritation, redness, itching sensation, watery or mucus discharge, puffiness, foreign body sensation, light sensitivity and cloudy vision.
Instant relief for allergic symptoms includes washing eyes, cold compress for swelling. Although, eye allergic conditions are not permanent, in case, it persists, availing over the counter eye drops would not be fruitful. Depending on the severity and associated complications treatment can vary.
Dry Eyes Disease
Tears play a vital role in the health of our eyes. It helps in washing away dirt and irritants. Moreover, it also helps in keeping our eyes moisturized. Reduction in quantity of tears or abnormality on the quality of tears can lead to dry eye.
Redness in eyes and/or eyelids, itching, discomfort, burning or stinging sensation, foreign body sensation.
Treatment for dry eyes include warm compress, massage on eyelids, lubricating eye drops or gels, anti-inflammatory eye drops etc. There are small bio-devices called as Punctal plugs that can be inserted into the punctum to reduce the egress of tears from the eyes.
Cornea, unlike many other tissues of our body, does not contain blood vessels, as it needs to maintain its transparency. Hence, owing to lack of white blood cells, it is difficult for cornea to fight against microorganisms. Any break in the corneal epithelium can predispose to corneal infections. Contact lens users are especially prone to corneal infections.
Redness, burning sensation, eye pain, swelling, discharge, or distorted vision.
Treatment for eye infection all depends on the type of infection. Your eye doctor will typically recommend few eye drops, ointments and antibiotics. In some cases, corneal scarping is important to confirm the type of micro-organism which is responsible for corneal infection. One needs to understand the severity of this condition and undergo a detailed eye check-up as soon as possible. Corneal infection can cause significant degree of vision loss if not treated timely.