Patricia S. Bainter, MD
Dr. Bainter is a board-certified ophthalmologist. She received her BA from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and her MD from the University of Colorado in Denver, CO. She completed an internal medicine internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, CO, followed by an ophthalmology residency and a cornea and external disease fellowship, both at the University of Colorado. She became board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1998 and recertified in 2008. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Bainter practices general ophthalmology including cataract surgery and management of corneal and anterior segment diseases. She has volunteered in eye clinics in the Dominican Republic and Bosnia. She currently practices at One to One Eye Care in San Diego, CA.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
- What is the cornea?
- What are the different types of corneal disease?
- What are the causes and risk factors of corneal disease?
- What are the signs and symptoms of corneal disease?
- What types of health care specialists diagnose and treat corneal disease?
- How do health care professionals diagnose corneal disease?
- What is the treatment for corneal disease?
- What are the potential complications of corneal disease?
- Is it possible to prevent corneal disease?
- Find a local Eye Doctor in your town
What is the cornea?
The cornea is the clear tissue at the front and center of the eye. Its transparency permits light to pass into the eye, through the pupil, lens, and onto the retina at the back of the eye. The three major corneal layers are the outer layer of the cornea or epithelial layer, the middle layer termed the stroma, and finally a single layer of cells called the endothelium.
The curvature of the cornea plays an important role in focusing (refracting or bending) light. The normal cornea is smooth, clear, and tough. It helps protect the eye from infection and foreign material.
What are the different types of corneal disease?
There are several common causes of corneal disease, including the following:
- Bacterial, fungal, or viral keratitis, as well as parasitic diseases
- Abrasions or exposure to toxic chemicals
- Dystrophies and degenerative corneal disorders
- Fuchs' dystrophy, map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, or lattice corneal dystrophy
- Autoimmune disorders
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Vernal and atopic keratoconjunctivitis
- Pterygium or benign or malignant cancerous growths on the eye's surface
- Ectasia (thinning)
- Keratoconus, or thinning of the cornea following refractive laser surgery
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare but serious inflammatory reaction to a medication or an infection
The cornea can also be damaged secondarily by other common eye conditions such as tear film abnormalities (dry eye), eyelid disorders, glaucoma, and iridocorneal endothelial syndrome (ICE), which may be associated with glaucoma.
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