What is cornea?
The cornea is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye. The colored part of the eye (called Iris) and the round opening in it (called Pupil) can be seen through the cornea. The cornea helps to focus and transmit light as it passes to the lens and on to the Retina at the back of the eye. (When light reaches the retina, it is converted into impulses which are transmitted via the Optic nerve to the visual centre in the brain)
Why does the cornea get damaged?
Some people are born with abnormalities of the cornea. In a condition known as Keratoconus, the cornea develops an abnormal curvature that makes normal vision impossible.
Some childhood infections like measles can also cloud the cornea, often causing permanent blindness throughout the person’s life.
In later years, infection or traumas to the eye are the main causes for the cornea to become cloudy and this can reduce the vision.
In older people, Degenerative diseases, often caused by excessive exposure to harsh sunlight can cause the cornea to become dull and hence loss of vision.
What is Corneal Blindness?
Corneal blindness means that one’s cornea, which is the transparent and thin outer layer of the eye becomes clouded due to
• Nutrition deficiency especially in Childhood
• Chemical burns
• Post operative complications & infections.
How can the eyesight in these patients be restored?
Persons who have lost their sight because of corneal damage can hope to regain their sight through the Corneal Grafting (also called Corneal Transplantation) procedure.
So, What is Corneal Grafting/Transplantation?
This is a procedure to replace the damaged Cornea or part of it, with an healthy Corneal tissue. The new Cornea is obtained from donated Corneas, which undergo thorough testing before being used for transplantation.
Who is eligible for Corneal Grafting?
Be an young child or an Adult or an Old person, everybody can be operated on to replace the dull and opacified Cornea with a new cornea, so that they may be able to see and enjoy this beautiful world!
From where do hospitals get the Corneas for transplantation?
Corneas are removed from the eyes of people who have died, with the consent from the individual or his family. This is collected and kept in the respective eye banks.