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CorneaThe part of the eye on which contacts are worn is called the cornea. The cornea is a transparent surface where the light passes through and imprints an image on the retina. This creates a chemically and electronically induced reaction that travels through optic nerves to the brain and this is how we see. The cornea does not have blood vessels and it is normally clear and has a shiny surface and it must be completely transparent for us to see clearly. The cornea has more nerve endings in the body than anywhere else making the cornea extremely sensitive to light.

If the cornea becomes damaged by having a irregular curvature or if it becomes cloudy, clear vision is not possible. Corneal disease often requires a corneal transplant. This procedure is called penetrating keratoplasty. It involves removing the cloudy, damaged cornea and replacing it with a healthy donor tissue. The donor tissue is sewed into place with small sutures. Recovery time can be a little bit more prolonged than cataract surgery and will require several follow up appointments with your ophthalmologist after the operation.

Like any transplant surgery, there are risks, but there have been many successful corneal transplant surgeries that have given people a new chance at having clearer vision. This surgery does not offer immediate results, but over time can change a blind eye into an eye that has clear vision.

Talk to a professional at Magruder Eye Institute to learn more about your options when dealing with a corneal condition.