Prevention and care of the corneal surface  

What is the cornea?

The cornea is the structure of the eye that allows the passage of light from outside to inside the eye. Likewise, it protects the iris and lens. For its correct operation, it must maintain the transparency and the appropriate curvature. The cornea is formed by different layers, where the outer one is the corneal epithelium.

Function of the cornea

The cornea is characterized as being one of the most important components of the ocular system. It works as a protective shield for the eyes, blocking UV rays, controlling the entry of external agents and light. This crystal is also responsible for the capture of light, which is then transformed into images by means of the ocular system.

The importance of good corneal healing after surgery

After surgery on the ocular surface (cataract, refract, lasik, …) the cornea is affected by an incision or cut. To restore the cornea will be necessary the use of anti-inflammatory and cicatrizant eye drops in addition to the antibiotic. The association of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid and ophthalmic heparin achieves correct healing without altering vision.

Corneal injuries

The corneal surface, being the outermost and barrier part of the eye can suffer corneal injuries, these can be:

  • Keratitis: inflammation of the cornea.

  • Abrasions: includes scratches or scrapes on the surface of the cornea producing ulcers or erosions.

  • Chemical injuries: caused by liquids that come in contact with the eye.

  • Problems with contact lenses: excessive use, poor fit or sensitivity to lens care solutions.

  • Foreign bodies: exposure to sand or dust in the eye.

  • Ultraviolet injuries: caused by sunlight, sunlamps, snow or water reflections, or arc welds.

Likewise, after operations that affect the corneal surface such as cataract or refractive surgery (LASIK or PRK) there is an alteration of the corneal surface, with damage to the epithelium.

Advices for corneal care

Tips to avoid corneal damage and possible complications:

  • Use of sun glasses to protect the cornea from UV rays.

  • Use of protective glasses for the performance of those works in which there is detachment of particles that can damage the eyes (gardening, carpentry, use of radiant, …).

  • Special care in the use of detergents and / or household cleaning liquids to contain chemicals that can damage the cornea if they come in contact with the eye.

  • Eye protection with caps or visors.

  • Recommended hours of use of contact lenses, avoid using contact lenses longer than prescribed by your ophthalmologist or optometrist.

  • Avoid sleeping with contact lenses.

Remember that in case of a corneal injury you should go immediately to your ophthalmologist for inspection.

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