The cornea is the clear front layer of the eye that serves as a protective barrier and the first point of entry for light into the eye. Its health is crucial to sight.
The cornea bends light, which passes through an opening in the colorful iris, called the pupil, and then through the lens, which further focuses the light onto the retina. There, light is translated by photoreceptor cells into visual information that is conveyed to the brain via the optic nerve, where it is interpreted as vision.
Corneal damage is a leading cause of blindness world wide, but especially in less developed countries. Corneal clouding or scarring can result in glared or blurred vision.
Symptoms of corneal damage and dry eye can include pain, tearing, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and a feeling that something is in the eye.
Treatments include lubricating eye drops and ointments, patches for protection from irritation, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory eye drops, and special contact lenses to bandage the cornea.
Corneal transplants are often needed when vision cannot be corrected with other treatments.Researchers funded by Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) are working to better understand the corneal wound healing process in order to develop new strategies for transplantation and other treatments for corneal damage.
Search the RPB Research Archive for more information