Corneal Disease

The clear, dome-shaped surface of the cornea protects your eye while helping you see clearly. There are many conditions that can affect your cornea, including corneal abrasion and keratoconus. You can find expert care for all of them at MUSC Health Storm Eye Institute.

Cornea Disease Care: Why Choose Storm Eye Institute?

Our experience from treating a high volume of cornea problems helps us provide you with a superior level of care. We successfully diagnose and treat problems in earlier stages, which may help you avoid a procedure and quickly restore more normal vision.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Expertise: Every doctor is fellowship-trained, having completed several years of additional, specialized training. This level of expertise helps you achieve exceptional results.
  • Latest Treatments: We expertly provide all the latest treatments, including laser procedures delivered with the best available equipment. We also use an approved device to fix abnormally shaped corneas with a high degree of precision. We are the only program in South Carolina with this tool, called a cross-linking device.
  • Convenience: Our large team means you can get the care you need right when you need it. We treat many cornea problems through our comprehensive eye care program. We can even accommodate same-day appointments when necessary. Find out more about comprehensive eye care.

What is Corneal Disease?

Your cornea is the outermost layer of your eye and serves as a protective barrier against dirt and germs. The cornea also focuses beams of light and filters out harmful rays, functions that help you see clearly.

Eye injuries such as scratches (corneal abrasions) cause some corneal problems. Others happen when a medical condition affects the cornea.

Common medical problems affecting the cornea include:

  • Corneal ulcer
  • Dry eye
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy
  • Herpes eye disease
  • Keratoconus
  • Viral infections
  • Vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism

Treatments for Corneal Disease

We offer a full range of treatments for cornea problems. The treatment that’s best for you depends on your diagnosis and how serious the problem is. We explain your options and how each treatment works. We then develop a personalized treatment plan based on your medical needs and personal preferences.

Nonsurgical Treatments for Corneal Disease

Nonsurgical corneal treatments available at Storm Eye include:

  • Eye Drops: Putting medicated drops in the eyes can protect against infection if the cornea tears. Eye drops also help lubricate the eye as it heals.
  • Ointments: Applying ointments directly to the cornea helps promote healing by allowing medications to stay in place longer than eye drops. Ointments may contain antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling.
  • Medications Taken by Mouth: If a virus infects the cornea, taking anti-viral medications by mouth can help wipe out the problem.
  • Contact Lenses: If the cornea develops an abnormal, cone-like shape (keratoconus), wearing special contact lenses may smooth it out. We use special technology to tailor contacts so they fit the unique shape of the cornea.

Procedures for Corneal Disease

At Storm Eye, you have access to all the latest laser and surgical procedures for corneal treatment, including:

  • Corneal Cross-Linking: At Storm Eye, you have access to the first approved corneal cross-linking device in South Carolina offering this advanced treatment to people with keratoconus. This condition causes the cornea to bulge out, forming a cone-like shape. This treatment uses ultraviolet light and liquid vitamins to strengthen the cornea so it holds a more normal shape and may help you avoid more complex treatments, such as a cornea transplant. 
  • Cornea Transplant: Our eye surgeons remove damaged or diseased cornea tissue and replace it with healthy donor tissue. Cornea transplant is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can expect to go home the same day.