825 Fishburn Road Hershey, PA 17033 | 717.533.5200 

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Corneal and External Disease Evaluation

CorneaOur eye doctors at Central PA Eye Institute in Hershey, PA have been trained to diagnose and treat the spectrum of eye diseases, but also have special expertise in the cornea. There are many diseases that can affect the cornea. To accurately diagnose and manage your disease, our doctors will examine and test other structures in the eye as well.The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped window covering the front of the eye. It focuses light on the retina and determines the clarity of the image we see. Like the front lens of a camera, it gives us a clear window to look through. Because there are no blood vessels in the cornea, it is normally clear and has a shiny surface. The cornea is extremely sensitive - there are more nerve endings in the cornea than anywhere else in the body.

The adult cornea is only about 1/2 millimeter thick and is comprised of 5 layers: epithelium, Bowman's membrane, stroma, Descemet's membrane and the endothelium.

Layers of the CorneaThe epithelium is layer of cells that cover the surface of the cornea. It is only about 5-6 cell layers thick and quickly regenerates when the cornea is injured. If the injury penetrates more deeply into the cornea, it may leave a scar. Scars leave opaque areas, causing the corneal to lose its clarity and luster.

Bowman's membrane lies just beneath the epithelium. Because this layer is very tough and difficult to penetrate, it protects the cornea from injury.

The stroma is the thickest layer and lies just beneath Bowman's. It is composed of tiny collagen fibrils that run parallel to each other. This special formation of the collagen fibrils gives the cornea its clarity.

Descemet's membrane lies between the stroma and the endothelium. The endothelium is just underneath Descemet's and is only one cell layer thick. This layer pumps water from the cornea, keeping it clear. If damaged or disease, these cells will not regenerate.
Corneal Transplantation may help you enjoy better vision.
Newer techniques in corneal transplantation, developed in part by Dr. Rosenwasser, allow for replacement of individual layers of the cornea in certain cases. Dr. Rosenwasser has developed a number of instruments for this technique which are available through Katena Instruments.