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services » eye » cornea
Know about Cornea

What is Cornea?

The cornea is the transparent tissue that covers the front of the eye. An easy way to locate the cornea is simply to look at the eye in the mirror. You will notice a clear surface covering the iris (the colored part of the eye) and pupil. This is the cornea.

Functions of Cornea

  • It provides a physical barrier that shields the inside of the eye from germs, dust, and other harmful matter.
  • It acts as the eye's outermost lens. When light strikes the cornea, it bends or refracts the incoming light onto the crystalline lens. The lens then focuses the light onto the retina, the paper-thin tissue at the back of the eye on which the image is formed.

Corneal Problems

The cornea copes very well withminor injuries or abrasions. However, ifthe scratch penetrates the cornea more deeply,the healing process will take longer, resultingin greater pain, blurred vision, tearing,redness, and extreme sensitivity to light.These symptoms require professional treatment.Some of the more serious problems that affectthe cornea are:

Microbial Infections(Keratitis)

When the cornea is damaged, such as aftera foreign object has penetrated the tissue,bacteria or fungi can pass into the cornea,causing a deep infection and inflammation.This condition may cause severe pain, reducevisual clarity, produce a corneal discharge,and perhaps erode the cornea.

As a general rule, the deeper the cornealinfection, the more severe the symptomsand complications.


This term describes a group of inflammatoryand often contagious diseases of the conjunctiva(the protective membrane that lines theeyelids and covers exposed areas of thesclera, or white of the eye). These diseasescan be caused by a bacterial or viral infection,drug allergy, environmental irritants, ora contact lens product. At its onset, pinkeye is usually painless and does not adverselyaffect vision. The infection will come andgo in most cases without requiring medicalcare. But for some forms of pink eye, suchas epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis, treatmentwill be needed. If treatment is delayed,the infection may worsen and cause cornealinflammation and a loss of vision. Dependingon the type of pink eye that a person develops,treatment often consists of antibioticsand steroids.

Ocular Herpes

Herpes of the eye is a recurrent viral infection.Extremely painful, it is very common inIndia. It requires regular follow up withthe ophthalmologist.

Corneal scarring

Corneal scarring is by far the biggest causeof blindness in India. Due to scarring,the cornea looses its transparency therebydestroying normal vision. These scars canbe the result of infections, chemical burnsand injuries. In extreme cases of scarringwhich has led to complete visual loss, Ophthalmologistrecommend a corneal transplant operation(commonly known as eye transplant). Knownas Penetrating Keratoplasty, the damagedcornea is replaced by a donor "graft".The surgical process is extremely complicated.

Ocular Surface Disorders

This clinic is one of its kind in Northern India. It offers management for patients suffering from ocular surface disorders and present with redness, pain, dryness, discomfort and visual complains. The Ocular Surface Disorders includes patients of Dry eye, Chemical injuries, Limbal stem cell deficiency, Steven Johnsons Syndrome , Ocular Cicatricial Pemphigoid, and Recurrent Pteryguim.

Clinic offers management options like punctual occlusion, amniotic membrane grafting, mucous membrane transplant, fornix formation, symblepharon release and scleral contact lenses. Advanced procedures like Limbal stem cell transplant and Boston Keratoprosthesis is reserved for patient's with end stage ocular surface disorder.

Cornea Services at SCEH

  • Diagnostic services include:
- Corneal topography
- Corneal pachymetry
- Anterior segment OCT
- B Scan
- Corneal scrapping and culture -  
  • Surgical services  include:
- Amniotic membrane grafting
- Collagen Cross Linking(C3R) for  Keratoconus
- Corneal Tatooing
- Corneal Tear Repair
- Conjunctival Tear Repair
- Conjunctival Biopsy
- Dermoid Excision
- Descemet’s membrane repair with C3F8 injection
- EDTA  chelation
- Foreign body removal
- Limbal Stem Cell Transplant
- Patch Grafting
- Pterygium excision with conjunctival autograft
- Pterygium excision with conjunctival autograft  with fibrin glue
- Scleral Patch Graft
- TABCL (tissue adhesive with bandage contact lens)
- Penetrating Keratoplasty (Corneal transplant)
- Penetrating Keratoplasty with cataract surgery
- DALK( Deep Anterior Lamellar Kertoplasty)
- DSEK( Descemets Stripping Endothelium Keratoplasty)

The department also runs an eye bank and associated Hospital Based Cornea Retrieval Programme.

Cornea Specialists at SCEH