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Causes of Corneal Problems

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped outer surface covering the front of the eye. The cornea is not connected to any blood vessels, which can make it vulnerable to infection. The cornea receives nourishment from the aqueous humor that fills the chamber behind it. If the cornea does not remain clear, it cannot refract light properly. If the cornea is covered by cloudy areas, eyesight is negatively impacted. There are many problems that can affect the function of the cornea; because of this, corneal problems are very common and many require surgery. For our patients in Chicago, cornea surgery may be used to address many of the issues that result from corneal problems.

Causes of Corneal Problems

There are many causes of corneal problems and each one should be taken seriously. For some of our patients in Chicago, corneal problems may be caused by refractive errors, keratitis, and keratoconus.

  • Refractive errors: Myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism occur when the cornea is irregularly shaped. When the cornea is too steep or too flat, it cannot bend light correctly onto the retina.
    • Myopia: Commonly referred to as nearsightedness, myopia is a result of the cornea having too much of a curve or of the eye being too long. Objects that are far away appear blurry for patients with myopia, which affects over 25 percent of the adult American population.
    • Hyperopia: Commonly referred to as farsightedness, hyperopia is a result of the eye being too short. For patients with hyperopia, objects that are close appear blurry, while objects in the distance are clear.
    • Astigmatism: With astigmatism, both near and far objects appear blurry. This is caused by an uneven curvature of the cornea. When astigmatism is present, the cornea becomes curved more in one direction than in another, whereas a normal cornea has even curves.
    • Fortunately for patients in Chicago, LASIK can correct the corneal problems caused by myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. For patients who do not qualify for LASIK, there are alternative surgical treatments available, such as PRK.
  • Keratitis: Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea. Infectious keratitis can be caused by bacteria, infection, fungus, and viruses. If left untreated, permanent damage can be caused, resulting in loss of vision. Symptoms of keratitis include eye redness, eye pain, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, swelling around the eye, and a feeling that something is in the eye.
  • Keratoconus: Keratoconus affects one in every 2,000 Americans and is more prevalent in teenagers and adults in their twenties. In keratoconus, the cornea progressively becomes thinner and thinner, causing an outward bulge of the cornea. The cornea develops into a cone shape as a result of keratoconus. Severe astigmatism and myopia are likely with keratoconus. Some patients will develop swelling and scarring of the tissue that can impair sight. Many patients with this condition have a family history of keratoconus. Both eyes are usually affected. If keratoconus advances, some patients may require a corneal transplant. Fortunately, most patients will only require prescription contact lenses or eyeglasses in the treatment of keratoconus.

Contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. Today

To learn more about the many causes of corneal problems, please contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. today.

LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that is designed to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our LASIK surgeons and eye doctors use the latest in laser vision correction technology to ensure each patient receives optimal results.
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Laser Eye Surgery
As leaders in the field of ophthalmology, we were among the first in the area to offer the advanced Alcon LenSx laser platform for cataract surgery. This exciting new technology allows our skilled ophthalmologists to make incredibly precise modifications, enhancing the patient experience.
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Advanced Cataract
Traditionally, presbyopia, which happens to all of us as we age, has always meant glasses for clear reading vision. It's a condition not even correctable by laser vision correction. Luckily, there is an option. Refractive lens exchange allows patients a clear alternative to reading glasses and is capable of reducing or eliminating presbyopia by using an advanced multifocal intraocular lens.
Refractive Lens Exchange
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exchange/phakic iol's
Keratoconus describes a cornea that weakens as collagen fibers deteriorate, causing the cornea to adapt a cone-like shape. Keratoconus can cause blurred vision, light sensitivity, glares, and decreased night vision. In its early stages, keratoconus may be treated with the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. Keratoconus is also one of the most common reasons for corneal transplant, and one of the most successful. Call any of our offices and ask to speak to the Vision Correction Surgical Coordinator, or use the contact form below.
Closeup of the Cornea
It's estimated that a million or more Americans have glaucoma and don't even know it. People with glaucoma often do not experience any symptoms until they begin losing their peripheral vision. One of the scariest things about glaucoma is that it usually has no symptoms in the early stages, earning glaucoma the name "silent thief of sight." Anyone can be at risk, so it's important to have your vision regularly examined.
Elderly couple smiling after Glaucoma treatment
At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our doctors take great care in maintaining ocular health for our patients. However, a number of our patients voice concerns regarding soft lines and wrinkles around the eyes and other regions of the face. We have responded by introducing cosmetic procedures like BOTOX® Cosmetic through our Chicago practice.
Woman posing after BOTOX
Dry eye can result from a lack of sufficient production of your own natural tears, with an inability to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. This can cause mild to severe discomfort including itching, stinging and burning. Dry eyes are a common concern in Chicago, and the experienced team of corneal specialists at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ have the latest advancements in technology to treat dry eye.
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Dry Eye
Contact lenses are medical devices which interact directly with the ocular surface of the eye. At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, we provide exceptional care to ensure that you obtain the best possible vision with contact lenses that fit appropriately and maximize health benefits.
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