The cornea is the clear outer lens on the front of the eye. A corneal transplant is surgery to replace the cornea with tissue from a donor. It is one of the most common transplants done.
You will probably be awake during the transplant, but you will be given medicine to relax you. Local anesthesia (numbing medicine) will be injected around your eye to block pain and temporarily prevent eye muscle movement.
The tissue for your corneal transplant will come from a person (donor) who has recently died and who had agreed to donate their tissue. The donated cornea is processed and tested by a local eye bank to make sure it is safe for use in your surgery.
The most common type of corneal transplant is called “penetrating keratoplasty.” During this procedure, your surgeon will remove a small round piece of your cornea. Then your surgeon will sew the donated cornea into the opening of your cornea.
A newer technique called lamellar keratoplasty may be used for some patients. During this procedure, only the inner or outer layers of the cornea are replaced, rather than all the layers. This technique can lead to faster recovery and fewer complications.
Cataract removal is surgery to remove a clouded lens (cataract) from the eye. Cataracts are removed to help you see better. The procedure almost always includes placing an artificial lens (IOL) in the eye.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means you likely do not have to stay overnight at a hospital. The surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist. This is a medical doctor who specializes in eye diseases and eye surgery.
Adults are usually awake for the procedure. Numbing medicine (local anesthesia) is given using eye drops or a shot. This blocks pain. You will also get medicine to help you relax. Children usually receive general anesthesia. This makes them unconscious and unable to feel pain.
The doctor uses a special microscope to view the eye. A small cut (incision) is made in the eye.
The lens is removed in one of the following ways, depending on the type of cataract:
· Phacoemulsification: With this procedure, the doctor uses a tool that produces sound waves to break up the cataract into small pieces. The pieces are then suctioned out. This procedure uses a very small incision.
· Extracapsular extraction: The doctor uses a small tool to remove the cataract in mostly one piece. This procedure uses a larger incision.
· Laser surgery: The doctor guides a machine that uses laser energy to make the incisions and soften the cataract. The cataract is then removed usually by suctioning. Using the laser instead of a knife (scalpel) may speed recovery and be more accurate.
After the cataract is removed, a manmade lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL), is usually placed into the eye. It helps improve your vision.
Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. This nerve carries information from the eye to the brain. When the nerve is damaged, you can lose your vision.
Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of legal blindness in the world. At first, people with glaucoma lose side (peripheral) vision. But if the disease isn’t treated, vision loss may get worse. This can lead to total blindness over time.
There are three types of glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is the most common form in the United States and Canada. (In other parts of the world, it’s less common.) It usually affects both eyes at the same time. Your vision gradually gets worse. But it gets worse so slowly that you may not notice it.
Closed-angle glaucoma (CAG) isn’t very common in the U.S. and Canada. It usually affects one eye at time. CAG can happen suddenly and be a medical emergency.
Congenital glaucoma is a rare form of glaucoma that some infants have at birth. Some children and young adults can also get a type of the disease.
The exact cause isn’t known. Experts think that increased pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure) may cause the nerve damage in many cases. But some people who have glaucoma have normal eye pressure.
Some people get glaucoma after an eye injury or after eye surgery. Some medicines (corticosteroids) that are used to treat other diseases may also cause glaucoma.
If you have OAG, the only symptom you are likely to notice is loss of vision. You may not notice this until it is serious. That’s because the eye that is less affected makes up for the loss at first. Side vision is often lost before central vision.
Symptoms of CAG can be mild, with symptoms like blurred vision that last only for a short time. Severe signs of CAG include longer-lasting episodes of blurred vision or pain in or around the eye. You may also see colored halos around lights, have red eyes, or feel sick to your stomach and vomit.
In congenital glaucoma, signs can include watery eyes and sensitivity to light. Your baby may rub his or her eyes, squint, or keep the eyes closed much of the time.
Glaucoma can be diagnosed:
During routine exams with your eye doctor.
When you go to your family doctor because of an eye problem. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and do a physical exam. If your doctor thinks you have glaucoma, you will then need to see an eye doctor for eye exams and tests.