The Clear Cornea

Yes, it is possible for parts of the eye to regenerate! The cornea is absolutely crucial to having clear vision. Think of it as the windshield of the eye. Now, think of how well you see out of your windshield if it’s dirty or cracked. It’s not very clear is it. When you have corneal issues such as corneal infections from contacts, scarring from inflammation, or if your cornea gets scratched from getting poked in the eye, the windshield of your eye is compromised.

Initial Treatment

When this happens, what options do you have? First, we need to treat the acute phase with antibiotic eye drops, artificial tears, and even steroid eye drops to get you back to being functional and without pain. Then, the eye will usually heal relatively quickly and your vision will return to normal.

Advanced Therapy Options

There are times when 1) the wound is so large that healing takes longer or 2) the cornea does not heal like we want and there is scarring or defects we need to manage. In these cases we turn to two natural options to help the eye heal: autologous serum and amniotic membranes. These utilize the body’s natural ability to heal itself and reduce scarring.

Autologous Serum

Autologous serum utilizes our own blood to make eye drops that heal (regenerate) the eye. I know this sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but it is incredibly effective and rather simple. You get your blood drawn and the lab provides you with drops delivered to your home within 48 hours. The growth and healing factors are on par with our own natural tears and cannot be duplicated with artificial tear drops. Depending on the severity of the condition, patients will use the drops over the course of 1-3 months. Once the defect is healed, you will go back to life as normal and have more stable, clear vision than if you did not use these special drops.

Amniotic Membranes

Amniotic membranes are very similar to autologous serum, but the treatment time is much shorter. The Amniotic tissue is taken from healthy, planned cesarean sections in which the mother donates tissue. Then, this tissue is freeze dried or dehydrated and we have it in office for when certain situations arise. These are usually urgent in nature and could significantly affect vision if not treated quickly.

Essentially the membrane is placed on the eye with or without a contact lens. Then the cornea will absorb the tissues and utilize the growth, healing, and anti-inflammatory factors to return the cornea to it’s normal state. Finally, if a contact lens is used, it is removed about 5 days after initial placement.

We Are Here to Guide You

As you can see there are a plethora of options to help the cornea heal, regenerate, and be as clear and healthy as possible. If you have questions or wonder if you are a candidate give the office a call or schedule an appointment. We would love to walk you through your options!