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Corneal Conditions

The cornea is the clear circular "window" on the front of the eye. It provides most of the focusing power for good vision. When the cornea is damaged from injury, scarring, infection/inflammation or corneal disease it can become cloudy or misshapen. These things can affect eyesight and in some cases, even cause blindness.


Keratoconus is a hereditary eye disease in which the cornea, or clear window on the front of your eye, thins and loses its natural shape. This “warping” of the cornea causes a progressive and devastating loss of vision over time.

It often develops in young people and can begin affecting vision in teenage years, but it can also develop at any age. In its early stages you may achieve good vision with glasses, but as the disease progresses, rigid (hard) contact lenses are needed to correct the vision and eventually corneal transplant may be needed.

Intra-Corneal Ring Segments

Intra-Corneal Ring Segments (ICRS) is a less invasive surgical option. ICRS improves vision by reshaping the cornea using ultrathin implants placed around the outside edge of the cornea. For people with keratoconus, this procedure decrease astigmatisms and corneal abnormalities, and may delay the need for a corneal transplant.

Corneal transplant

During a corneal transplantation a Gundersen eye surgeon removes your diseased or damaged cornea and replaces it with one from a tissue donor. Corneal transplants can protect your eye's inner structure, relieve pain and improve your vision. Our eye surgeons have the skills and experience to perform different corneal transplant options, including:

  • Keratoplasty or corneal graft replaces the full cornea.
  • Descemet's stripping or membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK or DMEK) are partial-thickness corneal grafts in which only the innermost corneal layers are replaced rather than the entire thickness of the cornea.

For more information about corneal conditions or to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, contact a Gundersen Eye Clinic near you.

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