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Introduction to Corneal Disorders

By

Melvin I. Roat

, MD, FACS, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
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Topic Resources

The cornea is the clear layer in front of the iris and pupil. It protects the iris and lens and helps focus light on the retina. It is composed of cells, protein, and fluid. The cornea looks fragile but is almost as stiff as a fingernail. However, it is very sensitive to touch.

An Inside Look at the Eye

An Inside Look at the Eye

Corneal disorders include the following:

Corneal disease or damage can cause pain, tearing, and decreased sharpness of vision (visual acuity).

A slit lamp, which is an instrument that enables a doctor to examine the eye under high magnification, is usually used to examine the cornea. During the examination, the doctor may apply eye drops that contain a yellow-green dye called fluorescein. The fluorescein temporarily stains damaged areas of the cornea, making it possible to see damaged areas that are not otherwise visible.

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Test your knowledge

Ischemic Optic Neuropathy
Ischemic optic neuropathy is a condition in which the optic nerve is damaged by a blockage of its blood supply. One type of ischemia is nonarteritic ischemic optic neuropathy, in which something other than inflammation causes a blockage. At which age do significant numbers of people typically develop nonarteritic ischemic optic neuropathy?
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