The cornea is made up of five layers and is responsible for providing protection against injury and infection. After your comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Baribeau will discuss the health of your cornea and if any treatments or surgeries are recommended.
Conjunctivitis is often called “pink eye.” It happens when the conjunctiva is irritated by an infection or allergies and causes the eyes to become red and swollen and sometimes they have a sticky discharge.
You can have conjunctivitis in one or both eyes. Some types of pink eye are very contagious (easily spread from one person to person). There are three types of conjunctivitis: viral, bacterial and allergic.
The word keratoconus is derived from two Greek words: “kerato” meaning cornea and “konos” meaning cone. Keratoconus, therefore, is a condition in which the normally round shape of the cornea is distorted and a cone-like bulge develops, resulting in significant visual impairment.
This distortion usually begins in the late teens or early twenties and goes through a period of progression that can last 5 to 15 years or longer. As the keratoconus progresses, the cornea bulges and thins, becoming irregular and sometimes forming scars.
Once the progression ceases, the patient’s corneal shape is then stable for the remainder of his or her lifetime. The end result may range from mild ectasia (bulging) with minimal patient symptoms to severe disease with significantly decreased vision.
DSEK (Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty) and DMEK (Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty) are surgical techniques that precisely remove the damaged layer of the cornea for patients with conditions such as Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy, corneal edema, and other forms of endothelial dysfunction.
Because DSEK and DMEK are not a full-thickness cornea transplant, recovery time is usually quicker than with traditional corneal transplants. Visual recovery is gradual but most patients obtain their best-corrected visual acuity between 1-3 months after the procedure.
If your cornea cannot be healed or repaired, Dr. Baribeau might recommend a cornea transplant, also called “keratoplasty,” which is a surgical procedure to replace part of your cornea with the corneal tissue from a human donor.
All donated corneas are carefully tested to make sure they are healthy and safe to use. A corneal transplant can restore vision, reduce pain and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea. Most corneal transplants are successful; however, the surgery carries a small risk of complications, such as rejection of the donor cornea.