Many people have heard of a cornea transplant, but do not know what it involves or if it can help them. The procedure will replace a scarred or diseased cornea using healthy corneal tissue from a donor.
A graft is helpful in the replacement of central corneal tissue that may be degraded because of eye injury or disease. It uses healthy tissue received from a local eye bank. Unhealthy corneas degrade your eyesight by distorting or scattering light, resulting in blurred vision or a glare. If you are suffering from this condition, you may be helped by a cornea transplant to bring back functionality to your eyes.
A Common Cause of Blindness
People are often surprised to learn that corneal eye disease is actually one of the leading causes of blindness, falling only behind cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. This condition will affect over 10 million people globally at any given time.
Almost 50,000 cornea transplants are performed annually in the United States, according to the Eye Bank Association of America. Over the last five decades, over one million people have received this procedure to restore their eyesight.
How to Know if You Need a Cornea Transplant
If you want good vision, having a clear, healthy cornea is crucial. When your cornea has received damage because of eye injury or disease, it can become scarred, misshapen or swollen, resulting in distortion to your vision.
If your contact lenses or eyeglasses cannot restore your functional vision, you may need a cornea transplant. You may also need one if special contact lenses or medication do not relieve your condition.
Your cornea’s clarity can be affected by a number of conditions, including:
* Scars due to infections, like fungal keratitis or eye herpes
* Trichiasis scars due to inwardly-growing eyelashes that rub the cornea
* Hereditary conditions or eye diseases
* Chemical burns to the cornea
* Corneal swelling
Would I Make a Good Candidate for a Cornea Transplant?
The goal of the cornea transplant is to enhance cornea function and vision. A cornea transplant can relieve pain due to a damaged or diseased cornea. You may make a good candidate for a cornea transplant if your poor vision degrades your job performance or impedes your daily activities.