When does a patient require a corneal transplant
When the cornea becomes cloudy, light rays are unable to pass through to reach the light-sensitive portion of the eye called the retina. A corneal transplant is a surgical procedure that involves replacing the cloudy/scarred cornea with a donor cornea to restore vision.
Most individuals with poor vision due to a diseased or cloudy cornea, whose nerve and retina at the back of the eye is still healthy, may benefit from a corneal transplant to see well.
A cloudy or opaque cornea can occur from scarring of any cause (e.g., injuries or infections) or cloudy swelling of the cornea due to damage or ageing of the innermost layer of cells of the cornea (known as the corneal endothelial layer). This layer is not able to "grow back" or regenerate and can only be replaced by a donor cornea through transplantation.
Less commonly, corneal transplants can be done on an urgent basis to treat severe Corneal Infections, or to repair or "patch up" severe thinning, defects or perforations in the cornea or sclera (the sclera is the white coating of the eye). The latter may occur due to previous injury, inflammation or infections.
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