Skip to main content
Home » Services » Corneal Diseases

Corneal Diseases

Personalized Solutions for Corneal Disease

The cornea plays a vital role in our vision, serving as the transparent dome at the front of the eye. Its remarkable clarity allows light to pass through, while its refractive ability helps focus the light precisely onto the retina. However, various corneal conditions can disrupt this delicate balance, leading to vision loss and impairment.

Expert Care for Corneal Diseases

Corneal edema (swelling), corneal dystrophies (inherited diseases), corneal scars, injuries, and infections can cause a normal, clear cornea to become cloudy, resulting in loss of vision in one or both eyes.

Some diseases, such as keratoconus, distort the shape of the cornea so that the incoming light is not clearly focused on the retina. Even though the cornea appears clear in these diseases, the patient’s vision can still be blurry.

At Rhode Island Eye Institute, we understand the profound impact of corneal diseases on your vision and overall quality of life. Our dedicated corneal disease specialists, including Dr. Christopher J. Newton, Dr. Jane C. Cook and Dr. Elliot M. Perlman, strive to restore clarity to your vision and enhance your overall quality of life.

Specialized Corneal Disease Treatment

Some corneal diseases can be effectively treated with new glasses or eye drops, significantly improving vision. For cases of keratoconus, contact lenses are often the preferred treatment option, offering an enhanced visual correction. However, corneal transplant surgery is often necessary to restore vision in more severe instances, such as advanced corneal scars, dystrophies, and keratoconus.

Corneal Transplant

Corneal transplantation is a delicate but highly successful procedure. Under an operating microscope, the doctor removes and replaces the diseased part of the cornea with a donated healthy cornea. The donor cornea is secured into position with several very fine nylon sutures. The operation, which takes about an hour, is most often performed as an outpatient procedure with either local or general anesthesia.

Corneal Cross-linking (CXL)

In 2003, a groundbreaking discovery by Dr. Theo Seiler and his colleagues in Germany revolutionized the treatment of keratoconus. They found that applying riboflavin drops to the corneas of keratoconus patients and exposing them to a specific wavelength of ultraviolet (UV) light could strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of the disease. The UV light triggers a chemical reaction that binds the fine fibrils in the cornea together, providing significant therapeutic benefits. Numerous clinical studies worldwide have confirmed the success of this treatment, making corneal cross-linking (CXL) the standard of care for keratoconus patients globally.

We are proud to announce that Dr. Elliot M. Perlman is the first ophthalmologist in Rhode Island to offer FDA-approved corneal cross-linking therapy for treating progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia.

Take the first step toward improved eye health by scheduling a consultation with one of our corneal disease specialists in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts.