Clinical Services

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  • Cornea and External Diseases and Refractive Surgery

    Cornea and external diseases

    The Department of Ophthalmology's fellowship-trained corneal specialists offer comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, including advanced technology and surgical techniques, to evaluate and treat a variety of corneal and external eye diseases. Our ophthalmologists treat disorders of the cornea and outer coats of the eye, including conjunctiva and sclera.

    The cornea is the clear front of the eye that covers the colored iris and the round pupil. Light is focused while passing through the cornea so that we can see. To stay clear, the cornea must be healthy.

    But something may have happened to your cornea. It may be hazy or damaged because of disease or injury. If the cornea is damaged, it may become swollen or scarred. In any case, its smoothness and clarity may be lost. The scars, swelling or resulting irregular shape cause the cornea to scatter or distort light, resulting in glare or blurred vision. Like a foggy window, light no longer passes through it well, so a blurred image forms in your eye.

    If vision cannot be corrected satisfactorily using other medical approaches and severe corneal issues persist, a patient may be a candidate for a corneal transplant.

    Refractive surgery

    Our ophthalmology specialists offer laser refractive surgery for patients who are nearsighted with or without astigmatism. The laser removes tissue from the center of the cornea (in the case of myopia) to flatten its curvature and correct nearsightedness; in the case of farsightedness, tissue is removed from the periphery of the cornea to steepen its curvature.

    The laser essentially reshapes the cornea's front surface. To do this, the corneal stroma (tissue beneath the corneal epithelium) must be exposed. This can be accomplished by creating a corneal flap or removing the corneal epithelium with a laser.

    The goal of most refractive eye surgeries is to reduce or eliminate dependency on glasses or contact lenses. Refractive eye surgery is not for everyone, and one type of surgery may be more suitable for one person than another. Always consult your ophthalmologist for a diagnosis and to discuss which type of surgery may be appropriate for you.

    Some of the more common corrective surgeries include:

    • Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery/wavefront-guided LASIK
    • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
    • Radial keratotomy (AK)
    • Astigmatic keratotomy (AK)
    • Automated lamellar keratoplasty (ALK)
    • Laser thermal keratoplasty (LTK)
    • Conductive keratoplasty (CK)
    • Intracorneal ring

    Information seminars

    Our ophthalmology program offers informative seminars for patients who want to learn more about our services and ask questions about procedures performed by our corneal and refractive surgeons. The seminars are held at our clinics at 726 Lakeland Drive and University Physicians-Grants Ferry. For a schedule and more information, call (601) 815-3248.