The Cornea is the front convex shaped normally transparent tissue which acts as a refractive surface for the rays of light entering the eyeball. The rays then pass through the lens to be focused onto the retina and further give rise to the vision that we enjoy via a visual pathway. The cornea can be seen as the central circular tissue dark portion surrounded by the white of the eye (sclera), the two tissues are divided by a circular barrier called Limbus which houses the limbal stem cells.
The cornea has various layers starting from the epithelium in front to the Bowman’s membrane, bulky stroma (extracellular lamellar matrix), and the Descemet membrane along with the Endothelium. The epithelium & endothelium both are important to keep the cornea transparent and pathology of any of these layers may give rise to a loss of transparent nature called opacity. The health of epithelium is maintained by the overlying tear film which keeps it lubricated plus prevents accumulation of any harmful debris and also by the circular limbus surrounding the cornea which regenerates epithelial cells. In general, when one gets a “red eye” problem, the patient needs to be ruled out for dry eye syndrome, allergic eye disease (if accompanied by itching), or foreign body/ infection of the cornea (Keratitis). The other important thing to be checked for is inflammation of the white of the eye (episclera/ sclera) or of inner uveal tissue (uveitis) and acute rise of eye (intraocular) pressure.
WHEN SHOULD YOU GO FOR YOUR CHECKUP.?
Do not delay your visit to your eye specialist if you have
>Eye pain >Blurring/ Decrease in vision >Red Eyes >Watering of eyes >A foreign object hit the eye
HOW WILL YOUR EYE SPECIALIST EXAMINE YOUR PROBLEM
The ophthalmic surgeon will examine you on Slit Lamp Biomicroscope for any corneal abrasions (scratches), foreign body, or signs of any infection (keratitis). He will also see if there is any inflammation behind the cornea (uveitis) and also if the eye (intraocular) pressure is within normal range. A special type of dye in the form of drops called fluorescein dye may also be used to carefully see any abrasions or defects in the cornea as it is easier to see with the dye.
Author Details: –
-Dr. Ashok Sharma
M.S OPHTHALMOLOGY (PGI) | EX. ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR PGI CHD.