Cornea and Ocular Surface Unit
Many patients with corneal blindness may regain their vision thanks to modern surgical techniques.
The cornea is the window of the eye. Clear and curved, it acts as the outermost lens that meets the light when it hits our eyeball. The conjunctiva extends over the surface of the eye to the skin of the eyelids. These structures protect our eyes from external agents.
There are numerous diseases that affect these structures. Notable diseases due to their frequency and severity include:
- Loss of transparency of the cornea, due to trauma, inflammation or hereditary causes. Corneal transplant, regardless of the type, resolves corneal opacity with remarkable success.
- Infectious processes may affect the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis), the rims of the eyelids (blepharitis) or the cornea itself (keratitis and corneal ulcers). Measures to prevent corneal infections are very important in contact lens wearers.
- Insufficient tears, known as dry eye syndrome, affects many people, but this can fortunately be treated with good results in most cases using artificial tears. The population that is most affected by this problem includes women during and after the menopause.
Changes to the curvature of the cornea always lead to the onset of astigmatism, which can often be treated by the Refractive Surgery Unit (Keratoconus, Corneal Ectasia)
The Cornea and Ocular Surface Unit is run by Dr Susana Duch and Dr Magela Garat. Dr Cristina Vendrell runs the Dry Eyes Area.
The main techniques practised by this Unit include:
- Medical management of corneal diseases
- Penetrating or Lamellar Cornea Transplant (DMEK, DSAEK)
- Limbal stem cell transplantation
- Study and treatment of Dry Eye syndrome
- Management of corneo-conjunctival infections
- Corneal dystrophy and degeneration
- Amniotic membrane grafts