What is Corneal Scarring?
The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye. This clear layer of tissue looks like a smooth, dome-shaped piece of glass. By blocking irritating debris and controlling the way light enters the eye, your cornea helps to protect your eyes and focus your vision. The cornea is resilient and can typically heal from minor abrasions. However, major corneal damage can result in a corneal scar.
These can be caused by improper use of contact lenses, deep scratches, lacerations, burns, and some diseases like shingles and syphilis. After major damage, clear corneal tissue may be replaced by scar tissue or become occluded by new blood vessels (a problem called neovascularization). These corneal scars can impair your vision.
What are the Symptoms of corneal scarring?
Corneal scars can be extremely painful, but we are here to help. Common symptoms of corneal scarring include:
. Blurred vision
. A burning or scratching sensation in your eye
. Feeling like something is in your eye
. Sensitivity to light
. Red eyes
. Eyelid swelling
. Excessive tearing
Anything that damages the eye can lead to a corneal scar.
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. Corneal abrasion (scratch) or eye injury
Most corneal abrasions damage only the outer layer of the cornea. Minor injuries can be caused by tree branches, pens, pencils, and contact lenses. Overusing contact lenses can cause microscopic injury.
More serious injuries can be caused by:
. Sharp materials
. A ball directly hitting the eye
These injuries are more likely to be deep and generate a scar.
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About Iranian Surgery
Iranian surgery is an online medical tourism platform where you can find the best eye surgeons in Iran. The price of a Cornea Transplant Procedure in Iran can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined based on an in-person assessment with the doctor and the type surgery you undergo. So if you are looking for the cost of Cornea Transplant Procedure in Iran, you can contact us and get free consultation from Iranian surgery.
. Corneal infection
Most corneal infections are mild and treatable. However, if an infection is left untreated, it can spread to a deeper layer of the cornea known as the stroma. These infections, known as stromal keratitis, are much more difficult to treat and may lead to scar formation.
Some viruses, such as herpes simplex, can recur and cause further infections that may be hard to treat and may cause scarring.
. Epithelial basement membrane dystrophy
This condition causes abnormal growths on the outer layer of your eye (epithelium), which creates scar tissue. The growths can distort your vision and cause the cornea to become cloudy.
This is a genetic eye condition. The cornea becomes thinner and weaker. Over time, the weakened cornea starts to bulge outward in a cone shape, due to pressure from inside the eye. This coning eventually leads to scarring on the cornea.
How is a Corneal Scar Diagnosed?
Most corneal scars are easy to diagnose during a routine eye exam. They look like a white opacity in the normally clear cornea. Sometimes, corneal scars are visible to the naked eye. Some types of scars are more difficult to detect. Scars that change the shape of the cornea, making the surface more irregular, may not be apparent to your doctor with a routine exam. In these cases a corneal topography may aid in the diagnosis. A corneal topography is like a topographical map of the cornea that shows if the surface is misshapen or irregular.
A corneal scar may not change over time, particularly if was caused by an injury or infection. However, some scars can worsen over months and years if they are associated with underlying eye diseases. It is important to determine the cause of scarring in order to prevent scarring from worsening over time.
How is Corneal Scarring Treated?
Your ophthalmologist will work with you to find the most effective treatment for your corneal scarring, taking into consideration the severity of your scarring as well as other factors. Treatment options may include:
. Glasses or hard contact lenses, if your vision is significantly reduced by a corneal scar, we may recommend glasses or a hard contact lens to improve your vision.
. Laser surgery, in which UV light is used to treat scarring
. Corneal transplant surgery, in which the damaged portion of the cornea is replaced with donated tissue.
. Artificial cornea, in which the damaged portion of the cornea is replaced by a combination of donor tissue and synthetic material.
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Eye drop reduces scarring
The eye drop being developed by UK researchers consists of a fluid gel that contains a naturally occurring protein called decorin that promotes the healing of wounds.
When applied, the gel becomes more solid and shapes itself to the surface of the cornea. It remains there until slowly removed by blinking. This forms a sort of “bandage” for the cornea, protecting it from further damage and allowing it to heal.
Because the gel remains in place longer than other kinds of eye drops, it can be used to deliver decorin to the injury site without the need to frequently apply the medication.
The researchers found that using the gel alone reduced signs of scarring on the cornea after 7 to 10 days of treatment compared to conventional treatments. Adding decorin to the gel provided even better results.
To keep your eyes healthy and prevent infection, follow these tips:
. Wash your hands before touching your eye, the area around your eye, or when applying or removing contact lenses.
. Use the contact lens cleaning solution(s) we recommend for your type of lens and keep your case clean. Don’t make your own contact lens solutions or use tap water.
. Ask us how long to keep contact lenses in your eye. Don’t sleep with your contact lenses in place, even the extended-wear type.
. Keep makeup applicators clean and replace them regularly.
. Schedule regular eye exams.
Protect your eyes. Most sports-related eye injuries can be avoided by wearing proper eye protection, including goggles or glasses.