Eye health is an extremely important part of overall health and wellness. It is important to take good care of your eyes by having them regularly checked by an eye doctor, doing your best not to spend too much time at a screen and wearing eye protection like sunglasses when necessary. Some issues, however, can arise even if you are taking good care of your eyes. For example, if you have ever gotten an eye injury whether it was hit, poked or scratched, you may end up with scarring on your cornea. If you end up with scarring on your cornea, this can sometimes negatively affect your vision. This is because the cornea is the part of the eye that refracts light and allows the eye to focus. When this is damaged, you may experience blurred or altered vision, especially if the scarring is thick.
Another way this can happen is through an eye infection, particularly of the cornea. The cornea is the clear, top layer of the eye and it is also responsible for keeping out dirt and debris. If the cornea is damaged and debris and dirt can enter the eye, it can cause an infection. It is difficult to treat an infection there because the cornea does not have any blood vessels for which to fight infection. Because of this, an infection can cause a lot of damage to the eye and make seeing particularly difficult.
If you have had either of these issues and are experiencing trouble seeing, you may be a good candidate for cornea surgery. In cornea surgery, corneal tissue can be replaced with donor tissue in order to help get vision back. Because the cornea is such a small amount of tissue and there is no blood flow to the cornea, the chance of tissue rejection is much smaller in comparison to other types of donor tissue surgery. There are however, higher risk surgeries called penetrating keratoplasty and those need to be done if both layers of the cornea are damaged. This kind of surgery still has a high success rate, but also a much longer recovery time. This is because the entire cornea needs to be replaced. Stitches must be in place for a few months and sometimes vision may not improve until about 12 months.
This may seem a bit frightening, but in the case of cornea treatment, many advancements have been made. Statistically speaking, eye treatments such as cornea or cataract surgery are generally very successful and can help many patients gain back sight.
One of the most important things to remember is that the faster you are able to address an eye injury or infection, the better. The longer you let an injury or infection sit, the more likely it will cause more damage to your eye, thus requiring more invasive surgical options. As soon as you sustain an eye injury or suspect an infection, it is a good idea to make an appointment with an eye doctor right away to assess the damage and your options.