Cornea surgery allows for the removal of a circular section of damaged or diseased corneal tissue. The cornea will then heal naturally, without the damaged or diseased tissue interfering with vision any longer. LASIK is another popular cornea surgery option, as well. Dr. Jeff Jones, the ophthalmologist at Visionaire Eye Consultants in Castle Rock, Colorado, is highly experienced in the area of cornea surgery and is ready to help you preserve your vision.
Pterygium, also called surfer’s eye, is a growth affecting the conjunctiva, the clear tissue covering your eyeball and lining your eyelid. Common among people who spend a great deal of time outdoors, it’s not a serious condition, but it has such annoying symptoms as redness, irritation, and burning. If the pterygium growth spreads into your cornea, you may notice blurriness and other changes in vision.
The causes of pterygium include:
Pterygium may advance to the point that you need surgery to reverse its effects. In typical pterygium surgery, Dr. Jones removes the abnormal tissue, then patches your eye using healthy conjunctiva or placenta tissue. You can expect pterygium surgery to take less than an hour, and recovery time is usually several days.
Keratoconus is a degenerative condition of the cornea that typically affects those between the ages of 10 and 40. Over time, the disorder can cause thinning and reshaping of your cornea.
Until recently, if you had keratoconus, your doctor would prescribe gas-permeable contact lenses. As the disease progressed and your cornea shape changed, you wouldn’t be able to wear the lenses anymore because of the discomfort. Corneal transplant would be your next step.
Now, you have a new treatment option — corneal collagen crosslinking — which stops the advance of keratoconus in its earlier stages. Also called CXL, crosslinking refers, in this case, to the bond between two chemical chains. CXL uses ultraviolet light and riboflavin — vitamin B2 — together to strengthen the bonds within the stroma of the cornea.
Dr. Jones applies a solution of riboflavin to your eye and then activates it with ultraviolet light. The riboflavin promotes bonding of the collagen strands in the corneal stroma, strengthening the cornea.
First used in Germany in 1998, CXL received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2016.