I grew up in Zimbabwe and the sunset over the African savanna is truly glorious.
The cornea is a very clear transparent window of the front of the eye.
It is approximately half a millimetre thick. It is clear the does not normally contain any blood vessels and is made up primarily of a protein called collagen.
There are five main layers of the cornea. The innermost layer, the endothelium, is a singer single layer of cells and its primary function is to keep is to prevent the rest of the cornea from becoming waterlogged and to provided with nutrients.
The endothelium rests on a then the membrane called Descemet’s membrane. The main part of the cornea is the corneal stroma which gives the cornea its rigidity.
The Bowman layer is the outermost part of the corneal stroma and is more tightly packed with collagen. Outermost layer of the cornea, the epithelium, has layers of cells that helps smooth front surface of the cornea.
One of the cornea’s main role is to transmit and focus light as it enters the eye. The cornea is the main focusing lens of the iron contributes to 2/3rds of the total focusing power of the eye.
It also helps to shield the rest of the eye from germs, dust, and other harmful matter. The cornea shares this protective task with the eyelids, the tear film, and the white part of the eye (sclera).
Currently, the best treatment for symptomatic Fuchs corneal endothelial dystrophy is a single cell layer corneal transplant called DMEK (Descemets membrane endothelial keratoplasty). This provides a like-for-like replacement of the damage cells and has a number of advantages over older techniques including faster and more complete visual recovery lee, lower risk of rejection and a reduction in and potency and frequency of steroid medication.
After returning from my fellowship training in Rotterdam with the originator of the technique, Dr Melles, I have pioneered this technique and was the first person to carry out this procedure in the North of England in 2013. Since then, I have lead the way in using this technique for more challenging cases and have been invited to speak about it at professional meetings. For further information on the advantages of this technique
A pterygium is abnormal growth of conjunctiva across cornea.
The exact causes of this abnormal growth are not fully understood. People exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light and those that work in dry dusty environments are more prone to develop pterygia. It is not a cancerous growth and therefore small teacher do not need to be removed. A pterygium can affect vision by growing across the front of the eye or inducing astigmatism. When a pterygium is affecting vision or causing discomfort it can be removed surgically.
A very thin layer of conjunctiva is used to cover the area and is glued into position, therefore no stitches are required and healing is improved.