At the Eye Clinic, our corneal specialists and state-of-the-art equipment allow us to offer excellent medical and surgical treatment of many routine, complex and high-risk corneal and external diseases, as well as the most current vision correction procedures.
What is the cornea?
The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye and plays an important part in the eye’s visual acuity. The cornea is the transparent covers the iris and pupil in the front of the eye. Corneal tissue consists of five basic layers: epithelium, Bowman’s layer, stroma, Descemet’s membrane and endothelium. Although the cornea is clear, it contains a highly organized group of cells and proteins. Unlike most tissues in the body, the cornea contains no blood vessels to nourish or protect it against infection. Instead, the cornea receives its nourishment from the tears and aqueous humor that fill the chamber behind it.
The cornea, one of the protective layers of the eye, serves two functions:
First, along with the eyelid, eye socket, and sclera (white part of the eye), and the tear film, the cornea shields the eye from dust, germs, and other harmful matter.
Second, as the eye’s outermost lens, it is the entry point for light into the eye. When light strikes the cornea, it bends, or refracts, the incoming light onto the lens. The lens further refocuses the light onto the retina, a layer of light-sensing cells lining the back of the eye.
To see clearly, the cornea and lens must focus the light rays precisely on the retina. This refractive process is similar to the way a camera takes a picture. The cornea and lens in the eye act as would a camera’s lens. The retina approximates the film. If the cornea is unable to focus the light properly, then the retina receives a blurry image.
LASIK, PRK and Lens refractive procedures can frequently correct problems of focus such as near sightedness (myopia), far sightedness (hyperopia) and astimatism.