About the cornea

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. It helps to focus light into the eye so you can see. It is made of layers that work together to protect your eye and provide clear vision.

The cornea does not contain any blood vessels to nourish or protect it against infection but instead, the cornea receives its nourishment from the tears.

The cornea needs to be transparent to refract light properly and all layers of the cornea must be free of any cloudy or opaque areas to see properly.

There are a wide range of diseases and disorders that affect the cornea, including infections, dry eye, corneal dystrophies, shingles/herpetic eye disease, keratoconus, abrasions, exposure to toxic chemicals, pterygium and refractive errors.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Cloudy vision
  • Eye pain
  • Tearing
  • Sensitivity to light


Treatment for corneal diseases will be tailored to meet the individual patient’s situation.

Treatments can include medications, laser treatment, or surgery including corneal transplants.

Further information

Keratoconus (AAO download) »

Keratoconus (AAO web) »

Corneal transplants (AAO download) »

Corneal laceration (AAO web) »

Corneal transplants (AAO web) »

Corneal abrasions (AAO web) »

Corneal erosion (AAO web) »

Pinguecula and pterygium (AAO download) »

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