At Belmont Eye Center, Manhattan corneal surgeon Sandra Belmont, MD, FACS, sees many individuals suffering from corneal scarring as a result of trauma to the eye. Whether the cornea has been damaged as a result of an injury, infection or disease, the consequent scars can impair vision by distorting or completely blocking light as it enters the eye. The effects of corneal scarring range from blurred vision to blindness in the affected eye. Fortunately, Dr. Belmont offers several treatment options to address corneal scarring and improve vision that has been impaired by scars on the cornea.
What Is the Cornea?
The cornea is the transparent outer layer of the eye that, along with the white part of the eye (the sclera), protects the rest of the eye against foreign particles, including dirt and germs.
The cornea is also essential for allowing us to see, as it refracts light as it enters the eye. It also provides the majority of the eye’s ability to focus. The way the cornea is curved determines how well the eye can focus on objects in the distance and close up. (This is why certain vision correction procedures such as LASIK involve re-shaping the curvature of the cornea to correct the refractive error causing nearsightedness, farsightedness and / or astigmatism.)
Symptoms of Corneal Scarring
The cornea has the ability to repair itself quickly after most infections or minor injuries. While the cornea heals, however, patients may experience the following symptoms of cornea trauma:
- Blurred eyesight
- Feeling as though there is something in the eye, such as an eyelash
- Unusual sensitivity to light
Note: Although these are symptoms of corneal scarring, they may also occur as a result of other eye problems such as corneal disease. For this reason, it is critical that you contact Belmont Eye Center if you experience any of the above symptoms, so Dr. Belmont can determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and treat your condition accordingly.
Keratitis as a Cause of Corneal Scarring
Although the eye has certain mechanisms in place to protect against foreign bodies entering the eye, certain microorganisms get through these barriers from time to time. Viruses, bacteria or fungi can enter the eye after an injury, leading to infection, abrasion or inflammation of the cornea, called keratitis.
When keratitis occurs, the body tries to heal itself by generating additional blood vessels in the cornea, which can lead to corneal scarring.
Corneal Scarring Treatment
Often, the cornea is able to repair itself following trauma of any sort. However, if the corneal scarring is permanent and impairs a person’s vision enough to interfere with daily activities, Dr. Belmont may recommend surgical treatment.
One of the most common surgical treatment options for severe corneal scarring is a cornea transplant, or keratoplasty. With keratoplasty, NYC corneal specialist Dr. Belmont removes part or all of the scarred cornea and replaces it with part or all of a donor cornea. Success of corneal transplant largely depends on whether a suitable donor match for the patient can be found.
Find Out More About the Corneal Scarring Treatment Options
If you are experiencing a persisting sensation of having debris in your eye, or if you are experiencing eye pain or an extreme sensitivity to light, you may be suffering from corneal scarring or another corneal condition. If this is the case, your best option is to contact Belmont Eye Center to schedule an appointment with Dr. Belmont. The knowledgeable corneal surgeon can examine your eyes and let you know what is affecting your cornea and perhaps your vision.