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The layers of the cornea
The epithelium is layer of cells that cover the surface of the cornea. It is only about 5-6 cell layers thick and quickly regenerates when the cornea is injured. If the injury penetrates more deeply into the cornea, it may leave a scar. Scars leave opaque areas, causing the corneal to lose its clarity and luster. Boman's membrane lies just beneath the epithelium. Because this layer is very tough and difficult to penetrate, it protects the cornea from injury. Descemet's membrane lies between the stroma and the endothelium. The endothelium is just underneath Descemet's and is only one cell layer thick. This layer pumps water from the cornea, keeping it clear. If damaged or disease, these cells will not regenerate. Tiny vessels at the outermost edge of the cornea provide nourishment, along with the aqueous and tear film.
What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a frequently seen corneal disease, occurring in about 1 in 1000 people, which typically starts after the age of 10 yrs. The hundreds of filaments of collagen layers in normal cornea are linked to each other by cross linking, giving it an enormous strength. If these collagen cross-links are lost, as it happens in Keratoconus, there will be a progressive corneal thinning and stretching. This often occurs in both the eyes. The cornea bulges forward into an irregular cone shape. This causes distortion of the image, which cannot be corrected with glasses. The eye develops irregular astigmatism (cylindrical errors) and myopia [shortsightedness] and the vision would become blurred.
Who gets Keratoconus?
Risk factors include eye rubbing, family history of keratoconus, genetic predisposition, certain systemic disorders such as Down’s syndrome, ocular allergy, connective tissue disease etc. Diabetics won’t develop Keratoconus because of natural crosslinking from high glucose and UV light. Affects men and women in equal proportions and is bilateral in 90% of cases.
What are the symptoms?
How it is diagnosed?
How Keratoconus is treated?
A Few About LASIK
Myopia ( Short sightedness)
Is a condition where image is focused in front of the retina either because the eye is too long or its focusing power is too strong. The distance objects appear blurred.
Hyperopia (Long sightedness)
Here the light rays reach the retina even before it gets focussed. The eye is too short or its focusing power is weak. Both distance & near objects are blurred and initially blurring may be intermittent. Eye fatigue often occurs and this is very common especially in children.
Here the eye does not focus light evenly onto the retina due to irregular shape of the cornea.