Cornea, everything you need to know about this part of your eye.

What can cause damage to the cornea?

The cornea is the transparent front part of your eye that envelops the pupil and the anterior structures of your eye. With a healthy cornea, your eye can concentrate on people and objects properly and your eyelids can shut properly.  

cornea description

The cornea contains proteins with essential nerve endings. Also, it’s transparent nature enables it to refract or bend a suitable amount of light in the correct direction. If the transparency of your cornea is decreased, you will have blurred vision.

Causes of cornea damage

#1: Dry Eye

Dry eye is a typical phenomenon that most people experience. If left untreated, ocular damage can result. Tears play an important part in maintaining eye health as they maintain the moisture and cleanliness of your eye surface. Moreover, tears wash out dust, irritants and dirt and help stop potential bacterial infection and damage from injuries.

If moisturizing tears are insufficient,  your risk of eye infection and eye damage increases. Extreme eye dryness leads to corneal ulcers, eye inflammation and abrasion to your corneal surface [1]. 

#2: Infections

 The cornea contains no blood vessels to shield it from fungal or bacterial infections. Infection when underway can cause painful inflammation and lead to corneal scarring.

#3: Allergies

Eye allergies can be caused by items like smoke, dust and even perfume. Allergies like vernal keratoconjunctivitis can lead to corneal scarring and other vision problems.

When you have an eye allergy, you may experience tearing, eyelid swelling, watery discharge, burning and redness. Contact your eye doctor for antihistamine drops in case of an allergy. 

 #4:Chemical Injuries

 Alkali and acidic chemicals can cause corneal injuries. Chemical injuries should be regarded as medical emergencies and thus you have to consult your doctor right away. These injuries can lead to severe and widespread ocular surface damage that could result in permanent vision loss if left untreated.

#5: Foreign Bodies

Foreign bodies such as a piece of glass, dust, metal shaving, or a wood chip can get caught in your eye and scratch your cornea, leading to an ulcer if the scratched cornea fails to heal.

#6: Abrasions

Abrasions owing to corneal scratches or cuts can lead to corneal damage. When you have abrasions, you may experience pain, tearing as well as a sensation that something foreign is stuck in your eye.  

#7: Contact Lens Issues

 Although contact lenses are generally safe, they can occasionally lead to corneal infection, inflammation, or abrasion, thus causing corneal damage if you have an allergic reaction to the contact lens material or suffer from trauma.  Besides, contact lenses, if not handled properly, can result in corneal scarring or ulceration, causing temporary or permanent vision loss.  

#8: Ultraviolet Injuries

 Ultraviolet sun exposure can lead to photokeratitis, a temporary and painful eye condition. The exposure can result in  temporary corneal damage.

When you suffer from an ultraviolet corneal injury, you may experience blurry vision, eye redness, pain, watery eyes, light sensitivity, and swelling. Additional symptoms include temporary vision loss, headaches, twitching eyelids and visions of halos. 

 To learn more about factors that can damage the cornea, consult your eye doctor by booking an appointment. 


[1] “8 things that can damage the cornea,”  8 Things That Can Damage the Cornea | Vision Health. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17-Aug-2022]. 


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