Your cornea covers the outer surface of your eye, focusing your vision and protecting your eye from harmful debris and infection. Its location, however, also leaves it susceptible to damage and disease.
As a cornea specialist, Dr. Stephen Khachikian brings his extensive medical training to diagnosing corneal problems in Rapid City, South Dakota. Once he identifies the issue, he also offers the most effective treatment solutions available, using the latest medical technology and techniques.
Common cornea conditions
Cornea problems can range in severity from minor irritations to complex issues. If you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, for example, you have a cornea issue. That’s because the dome shape of your cornea focuses the light entering your eye. When your cornea doesn’t bend this light correctly, it hits your retina in the wrong place, resulting in imperfect vision.
In addition to vision problems, other common cornea conditions include infections, dry eye, corneal dystrophies, and cornea scarring.
Corneal infections (keratitis)
Keratitis develops when damage to your cornea, either from injury or bacteria, causes painful inflammation and infection.
Dry eye occurs when you produce few or low-quality tears. This lack of moisture keeps your eyes from staying properly lubricated. Dry eye usually isn’t serious, but it can be uncomfortable.
These types of cornea issues develop when your corneal tissue loses its clarity, which affects your vision. There are more than 20 kinds of corneal dystrophies — including Fuchs’ dystrophy and keratoconus — and most are hereditary.
Cornea scarring can vary in severity from mild to severe. This type of cornea condition can develop for several reasons, ranging from corneal infection to trauma to your eye.
Recognizing cornea problems
Cornea conditions don’t always have symptoms in the early stages. But as your issue progresses, you might notice signs that include:
- Distorted or cloudy vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- A glare or halo around lights
- Eye inflammation or redness
- Problems with your contact lenses staying in place
In many cases, cornea problems worsen with time, so it’s crucial to talk with Dr. Khachikian if you have any of these issues.
Treating common cornea conditions
Dr. Khachikian specializes in cornea problems and surgery, so he offers a wide range of treatments based on your specific issue. These therapies can range from minor treatments, like prescription eyedrops, custom contact lenses, and intense pulsed light therapy, to specialized surgical techniques that replace part or all of your cornea.
If you have a cornea condition or vision changes, call Stephen Khachikian, MD, send a message to the team here on the website, or use the convenient online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.