A cloudy cornea can result from multiple causes, including congenital deformity, metabolic disease, inherited corneal dystrophies, scarring, degeneration, trauma, infection, chemical or thermal burns or auto-immune disease.
The Cornea is vital to vision as the tear film on a healthy corneal surface enables proper focusing of light onto the retina. If the cornea is cloudy, vision is impaired and often patients can experience more glare and decrease in contrast. If the cornea is swollen, it can also cause blisters which become painful.
Corneal transplantation is performed to replace abnormal tissue with normal tissue to restore clarity to the cornea. Cornea tissue are donated from people who have passed away and have altruistically consented to the eye bank using their corneas for transplantation. This may be a full thickness transplant such as penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) or partial thickness transplants - such as Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) and single cell layer corneal transplants - Descemet’s membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK).