Corneal Surgery & Treatment Options in Bangor, Augusta, ME & Beyond
The cornea is often called the “window of the eye”. Located on the outermost portion of the eye, the cornea is a clear tissue that lets light into the eye, as well as protects the eye from infection.
While the cornea may appear to lack substance, it is actually a fairly complex piece of tissue. The cornea is made up of five layers, each with their own important job.
- Epithelium: The epithelium is the corneas outermost layer of cornea, making up for about 10% of the corneal thickness. The epithelium exists primarily to keep things like dust, germs, water and bacteria away from the other layers of the cornea, as well as to provide a smooth surface that absorbs oxygen and nutrients from tears.
- Bowman’s Layer: Directly below the epithelium is a transparent sheet of tissue known as the Bowman’s layer. It is composed of strong, layered protein fibers called collagen.
- Stroma: This layer of tissue makes up the remaining 90% of the corneal thickness. It consists primarily of water and collagen, and contains no blood vessels. The unique shape determines how well light is focused into the eye.
- Descemet’s Membrane: Under the stroma is Descemet’s membrane, a thin but strong sheet of tissue that serves as a protective layer against infection and injury.
- Endothelium: This is the thin, innermost layer of the cornea. Endothelial cells are essential in keeping the cornea clear. These cells are sensitive to disease and trauma, and if they are destroyed they are lost forever.
While the cornea is surprisingly strong and resilient, it is unfortunately prone to many diseases. Some diseases that affect the cornea include:
- Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
- Corneal infections.
- Dry Eye Syndrome
- Fuch’s Dystrophy
If you have any of these corneal diseases and would like to learn about your treatment options, call Vision Care of Maine today!