What is the cornea?

Mansfield Cornea SpecialistsThe cornea is your window to the world. It is the outermost layer of the eye. The cornea is the dome-­shaped, clear surface that covers the front portion of the eye and one of the key components of the eye in focusing light on the retina for clear vision. It is, on average, 500 microns in thickness and is responsible for 65­-75 percent of the eye’s total focusing power. Advanced Eye and Laser Center of Mansfield specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of corneal disease. The curvature of the cornea is important because it bends incoming light rays to focus them directly on the retina to produce a clear image. Diseases or trauma can alter the structure of the cornea, changing its curvature, thickness, or clarity, causing a loss of vision. These diseases can be inherited or acquired. These include keratoconus, dry eyes, trauma, corneal dystrophies, irregular astigmatism, Fuch’s endothelial dystrophy etc.

Unlike most tissue in the human body, the cornea does not contain the blood vessels that typically provide nourishment to the tissue or protect from infection. As an alternative, it uses nourishment from tears and a fluid in the front portion of the eye behind the cornea called the aqueous humor. Every time someone blinks, tears are created and disbursed across the cornea, creating a tear film, to keep the eye moist, and help protect against infections.

The cornea may appear to be a simple structure but it is actually a very complex portion of the eye. It is composed of five layers, each serving its own function.

  • The corneal epithelium is the outermost layer. Its primary functions are to block the passage of foreign material (bacteria, dust, etc.) into the eye, and to provide a smooth surface for absorbing oxygen and nutrients from tears and distributing them to the other layers of the cornea.
  • The next layer, Bowman’s layer, is a transparent film of collagen. This layer can form scar tissue when injured sometimes, when a scar is large or centrally located it can affect vision.
  • The corneal stroma is the next layer and is the thickest layer of the cornea, primarily composed of water and collagen. The shape, arrangement, and spacing of the collagen proteins are crucial in producing the cornea’s light-conducting transparency.
  • Descemet’s membrane is the next layer. It is a thin but strong layer of tissue that provides a protective barrier against injuries and infection. It can repair itself after injury.
  • The final layer is the corneal endothelium. Its cells are important in keeping the cornea clear. The endothelium’s primary task is to pump out the excess fluid that slowly leaks into the stroma from inside the eye. Without this process, the stroma would swell, becoming thick and opaque. Endothelial cells cannot be repaired or replaced by the body when they are damaged or destroyed by disease or trauma.

A healthy eye maintains a perfect balance, but as with any complex structure, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Dr. Mahasneh has additional advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of corneal diseases. If you are in the Mansfield, Midlothian, Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill, Arlington, Burleson area, come to Advanced Eye and Laser Center of Mansfield for all of your cornea and vision needs. We are equipped to treat the full range of corneal diseases and trauma.

What is a Cornea Specialist?

A cornea specialist is an ophthalmologist who has additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of corneal diseases. LASIK and advanced cataract surgery are examples of surgery that are performed on the cornea. For that reason, it is crucial that a cornea specialist evaluates your cornea and performs such procedures. When it comes to advanced cataract surgery, a cornea specialist is best fit to evaluate your eyes and deliver the best visual outcomes. Dr. Mahasneh is the only fellowship-trained, cornea specialist in the Mansfield, Midlothian, Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie and South Arlington areas. She is dedicated to taking the time to explain your diagnosis and will tailor a treatment plan unique to your eyes. Her philosophy is to treat anyone that walks through her door as family. Her level of compassion is unparalleled and her professional is exquisite.

Come visit us at Advanced Eye and Laser of Mansfield and experience the care your eyes deserve!