What is a Corneal Specialist?

A cornea specialist is a medical doctor and surgeon (MD) who has completed an extensive fellowship after medical school and residency in order to diagnose and treat the full range of diseases that affect the cornea and external structures of the eye.

What is the Cornea?

The cornea is sometimes called the “window” into the eye as it is the clear structure that covers the front part of the eye and is the first place that light passes into. It is made up of multiple clear layers of collagen and other cells whose functions are very important to your vision and the overall health of the eye. Two of the most important functions of the cornea is to focus images to the back of the eye (retina) and to provide protection as a barrier to prevent dust, dirt, bacteria, and other harmful substances from entering the eye.

Cornea Diagram

How can the Cornea be Damaged?

The cornea can be damaged or can malfunction through a variety of mechanisms including, but not limited to:

  • Dry eye
  • Infection
  • Contact lenses
  • Heredity conditions
  • Trauma (accident, surgery, foreign body, etc.)
  • UV light

How is Corneal Disease Treated?

Fortunately, the cornea is a very resilient part of the eye and tends to heal very quickly in most cases. However, certain conditions may require a variety of short and long-term treatments including topical medications and sometimes, even surgery. The cornea specialists of Raleigh Ophthalmology are experts in the field of the corneal and external disease and provide a wide array of treatment options to our patients suffering from conditions that affect the anterior structures of the eye.