What is the cornea?

The cornea is the clear front window of the eye.  It transmits light to the interior of the eye, allowing us to see clearly.  Corneal injury, disease or hereditary conditions can cause clouding, distortion, and scarring.  Corneal clouding , much like frost on a glass windowpane, blocks the clear passage of light to the back of the eye, reducing sight sometimes, even to the point of blindness.  In addition, some corneal injury and disease can be painful.

Causes of corneal disease or degeneration

Infections, whether bacterial, fungal, or viral are frequently causes of severe corneal damage and ulceration.  Abnormal steepening of the cornea (keratoconus) degeneration, occasionally following cataract surgery (corneal edema or swelling), and some aging processes can also affect the clarity and health of the cornea.

Some disorders of the cornea are inherited, and can lead to corneal clouding and loss of sight.