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Cornea Center

The cornea is the transparent front part of your eye, covering the iris (the colored part) and pupil (the black center). The cornea is often compared to the windshield of a car, as it’s the barrier between the inside of the eye and the outside world.

Images enter your eye as light, then are transmitted and sent to your brain for processing. This is how you see. The cornea allows the image you are looking at to be carried by light waves into the interior of your eye by gathering and focusing visual images. This focusing allows the images you see to be sharp and clear.

Chart of common corneal conditions

Corneal Damage

Corneal problems can happen to anyone at any age. If something such as disease, injury, or infection damages the cornea, it can become cloudy and warped. A damaged cornea distorts light as it travels into the eye, affecting your vision. It may even be painful. The smoothness and shape of the cornea is vitally important to its proper functioning, as is its transparency. If either the surface smoothness, or the clarity of the cornea surface is disturbed, vision becomes distorted.

Common Corneal Conditions
  • Keratoconus: This occurs when the cornea changes shape, pushing outward like a cone. A cone shaped cornea distorts light as it travels into the eye. This may cause you to see blurry, or even multiple images. Keratoconus often effects young adults; the cause is not yet know.
  • Side-effects from previous eye surgeries: After surgery, the cornea sometimes becomes swollen and cloudy. As a result, you might experience glare or see images that are blurry, faint, or washed out. The swollen cornea may also develop painful blisters.
  • Injury from eye infection, chemicals, fireworks, or a sharp object: Injuries like this can create scar tissue, which is difficult for light to penetrate. You may see very faint or distorted images, or only light and shadows.
Common Treatment Options
  • Cornea Transplants: Involves removing the central area of a patient’s cornea and replacing it with a donor’s cornea. A cornea transplant can treat a number of conditions, including: thinning of the cornea, cornea scarring (caused by infection or injury), clouding and/or swelling of the cornea, ulcers and complications caused by previous eye surgery.
  • Pterygium: A pterygium is a benign growth of vessels on the conjunctiva, which is the thin covering on the white part of the eye. Although they are not harmful, they can cause issues with vision, irritation, and appearance. The growth can be surgically removed using various techniques that are individualized to your specific situation.
  • Other Corneal Procedures: Your cornea is very fragile and a vital component to your vision. There are a variety of corneal treatments offered at Minnesota Eye Consultants, depending on your specific eye needs. A few common options are a PTK, Corneal Intacs, Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) and Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK). All of these can be done in our Laser Suite, however the AK procedure is often performed in the operating room in conjunction with Cataract or Lens Implant Surgery.
  • Corneal Collagen Crosslinking: Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (CXL) is a technique that uses ultraviolet light and a photosensitizer called riboflavin (liquid vitamin B2) to strengthen the cornea and attempt to reduce the progression of Keratoconus or post-LASIK ectasia. Crosslinking of collagen refers to the ability of collagen fibers to form strong bonds with other fibers.
  • Near Vision/Reading Vision Correction: The KAMRA Corneal Inlay offers restored near vision for those battling Presbyopia, the loss of near and/or reading vision around age 40. If you’re between the ages of 45 to 60 and are annoyed by the constant need for reading glasses, the KAMRA Corneal Inlay may be a solution for you.

 

Patient Testimonials

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Our Cornea Surgeons

Richard L. Lindstrom, M.D.

Richard L. Lindstrom, M.D.

Specializes in: Cornea, Cataract & Refractive Surgery
Practices at: Bloomington, Minnetonka

David R. Hardten, M.D., F.A.C.S.

David R. Hardten, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Specializes in: Cornea, Cataract & Refractive Surgery
Practices at: Bloomington, Minnetonka

Elizabeth A. Davis, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Elizabeth A. Davis, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Specializes in: Cornea, Cataract & Refractive Surgery
Practices at: Bloomington, Woodbury

Sherman W. Reeves, M.D., M.P.H.

Sherman W. Reeves, M.D., M.P.H.

Specializes in: Cornea, Cataract & Refractive Surgery
Practices at: Blaine, Minnetonka, Woodbury

Omar E. Awad, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Omar E. Awad, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Specializes in: Cornea & Cataract Surgery
Practices at: Woodbury

Mark S. Hansen, M.D.

Mark S. Hansen, M.D.

Specializes in: Cataract, Cornea, Glaucoma & Refractive Surgery
Practices at: Blaine, Minneapolis, Minnetonka

Morgan R. Godin, M.D.

Morgan R. Godin, M.D.

Specializes in: Cataract, Cornea, Glaucoma & Refractive Surgery
Practices at: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Minnetonka

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