The cornea of the eye, also called the cornea, is a transparent, vascular-free structure.
It is the outer part of the eye, often exposed to the negative effects of the external environment. Corneal diseases are quite common and always require timely treatment. According to medical statistics, they account for up to 30% of all eye disorders.
Device and functions of the cornea of the eye
The cornea looks like a concave-convex natural lens. This part of the eye is up to 10 mm in diameter.
The structure of the cornea is represented by 5 layers:
anterior (integumentary), consisting of epithelial cells that protect this part of the eye from damage;
bowman’s membrane, which helps the cornea maintain its shape;
stroma formed by collagen fibers and white blood cells, which makes the cornea of the eyes quite strong;
descemet, which increases the corneal resistance to harmful factors;
posterior (endothelial), which supplies the cornea of the eye with nutrients.
The cornea performs several important functions-it participates in the process of refraction of light, protects the eye from injury, and maintains the normal shape of the eyeball. In case of deterioration of its transparency, a sharp deterioration of vision occurs, requiring immediate eye treatment.
Diseases of the cornea of the eye
There are various eye diseases that affect the cornea. The main pathologies of the cornea:
dystrophy of the cornea.
In addition to these pathologies, the cornea can be subjected to mechanical, thermal effects, and damage from foreign bodies entering the eye.
The disease leads to inflammation and clouding of the cornea, the appearance of ulcers and painful sensations. Other symptoms of eye pathology:
redness of the eye;
the decrease in visual acuity.
Keratitis can be infectious (viral, bacterial) or non-infectious (occurring after injuries to the cornea or the entire eye, against the background of allergies, diabetes). In the absence of adequate treatment, the disease inevitably causes complications, among which the most dangerous are blindness and blindness.
With xerophthalmia, the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye dry out. The disease proceeds with unpleasant symptoms:
burning sensation, itching in the eye;
puffiness of the eyelids;
increased eye fatigue.
There are many reasons for the development of xerophthalmia. These can be chemical burns of the cornea, chlamydia, menopause and menopause, improper use of contact lenses for the eyes, increased visual stress. Treatment of the cornea often takes a long time and requires a comprehensive approach.
Xerophthalmia of the eye
The disorder is degenerative in nature. With its development, the cornea of the eye begins to thin out and takes the shape of a cone. The pathology is accompanied by progressive deterioration of vision, diplopia (double vision). In severe cases, there is a rupture of the descemet shell, edema of the cornea of the eye.
Such a disease can occur after damage to the eyeball. Other causes of the development of keratoconus of the eyes are disorders in the endocrine system, negative heredity. In many cases, the pathology is combined with other diseases. It can affect the cornea of the eye against the background of eczema, asthma, pollinosis, so the patient needs particularly careful treatment.
Keratoconus of the eye
With such an anomaly, foci of necrosis appear on the cornea. At the same time, other parts of the eye (conjunctiva, lacrimal glands) can be affected. Keratomalacia occurs with corneal edema, severe lacrimation, increased sensitivity of the eyes to light, and deterioration of visual perception.
The main factors in the development of corneal disease are protein starvation, vitamin A deficiency. Keratomalacia of the eyes can accompany liver diseases (viral hepatitis, cirrhosis). Treatment of corneal pathology is carried out comprehensively.
Keratomalacia of the eye
If bullous keratopathy develops, fluid accumulates in the cornea of the eye. This leads to the formation of abscesses (bull). They burst, cause painful sensations, lead to opacity and swelling of the cornea.
The main causes of corneal pathology:
Fuchs ‘ dystrophy;
poor-quality eye surgery.
This corneal disease is considered dangerous because it can cause irreversible vision loss. The treatment regimen for bullous keratopathy is selected taking into account the stage of the disease, the severity of negative changes in the eye.
Dystrophic pathologies of the cornea
Corneal dystrophies include hereditary diseases that affect both eyes. Symptoms of such pathologies:
opacity of the cornea of the eye;
feeling of presence of a foreign object in the eye;
deterioration of visual function.
There are different forms of corneal dystrophy – stromal opacity, ribbon-like, endothelial, and marginal degeneration. Eye disease is rapidly becoming severe, so it needs timely detection and effective treatment.
Dystrophic pathologies of the cornea
Methods of treatment of corneal diseases
Treatment of pathologies of the cornea of the eyes is carried out by various methods, including:
Medicated. Depending on the form of eye disease, patients are prescribed antibiotics, antiviral, anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticoids, mydriatics.
Wearing special optics for the eyes. When the cornea is affected, soft contact lenses can be used to accelerate healing, providing protection of the sensitive shell from injury to the eyelids.
Surgical intervention in the eye area. If there is an ulceration of the cornea, resort to such methods of treatment as laser, microdiathermocoagulation, cryoapplication. With significant corneal opacity, keratoplasty (corneal transplantation from the donor’s eye) is required.