A healthy, clear cornea is essential for good vision. If your cornea is damaged due to eye disease or eye injury, it can become swollen, scarred or severely misshapen and distort your vision. A cornea transplant may be necessary if eyeglasses or contact lenses can’t restore your functional vision, or if painful swelling can’t be relieved by medications or special contact lenses. A corneal transplant might also be required in cases of conditions such as trichiasis, where eyelashes turn inward and rub against the surface of the eye, causing scarring and vision loss.
A cornea transplant replaces diseased or scarred corneal tissue with healthy tissue from an organ donor. There are two main types of cornea transplants: traditional, full thickness cornea transplant (also known as penetrating keratoplasty, or PK) and back layer cornea transplant (also known as endothelial keratoplasty, or EK). A graft replaces central corneal tissue, damaged due to disease or eye injury, with healthy corneal tissue donated from a local eye bank. An unhealthy cornea affects your vision by scattering or distorting light and causing glare and blurred vision. A cornea transplant may be necessary to restore your functional vision.
If you are experiencing corneal issues, please call 703.858.9800 and schedule a consult with our corneal surgeon.