The cornea is the clear layer on the surface of the eye that helps protect it. It also helps to focus light as it passes through the eye to the retina. If the cornea becomes damaged, it can potentially affect your quality of vision. Dr. Tory Prestera and Dr. Kevin Garff are experienced in treating a wide range of corneal conditions and diseases. To learn about some common conditions, please review the information below. If you have noticed any of the symptoms noted, please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors.
A pterygium is an abnormal fleshy growth that can develop along the surface of the eye, affecting your vision and causing irritation. As it spreads, it can distort the cornea, causing astigmatism or even block the vision. With proper treatment, pterygia can be successfully removed to restore vision.
Similar to a pterygium, a pinguecula is a growth that occurs on the surface of the eye. It is most often caused by a deposit of calcium, fat, or protein. A pinguecula typically occurs on the inside corner of the eye, closest to the nose, and looks like a yellowish patch or bump. A pinguecula does not extend from the white of the eye to the cornea like a pterygium, but the pinguecula can sometimes lead to the development of a pterygium. Dr. Prestera and Dr. Garff are both skilled at pinguecula extraction, which can usually be achieved with prescribed eye drops or ointments, but may require surgical intervention in certain cases.
When the cornea has experienced significant damage or you are at risk of significant vision loss, a corneal transplant may be necessary to preserve your eyesight. At Prestera Eye, Dr. Garff utilizes various techniques to accomplish a successful transplant. Depending on your individual case, your surgeon may employ one of the following methods:
- Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP) – using a human donor graft, the cornea is replaced. This is a very delicate and complex procedure, and is often the last resort when other methods are deemed to be ineffective. This is used in cases of scarring, advanced keratoconus, and other disorders. However, in the hands of a highly trained ophthalmologist like Dr. Garff, this technique can be very effective at correcting corneal conditions and restoring vision.
- Endothelial Keratoplasty – this is a technique of partial corneal transplant performed to improve corneal edema (when the cornea becomes swollen). This can happen after cataract or glaucoma surgery or in diseases such as Fuchs’ dystrophy.
- Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) – this technique does not require a full transplant — it is known as a partial-thickness corneal transplant. DSAEK is achieved by replacing only the thin endothelial layer with donor tissue, leaving the majority of the existing cornea intact. This allows for faster healing, as well as a lower chance of tissue rejection.
- Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) – the most cutting-edge form of partial-thickness corneal transplant, DMEK is similar to DSAEK. The main difference between these two methods is that no stromal tissue is transplanted when replacing the endothelial layer. Patients who qualify for DMEK typically have shorter recovery times, and better resulting vision, but there can be potential complications with this method.
Based on your specific condition and personal needs, Dr. Prestera and Dr. Garff will recommend the surgical technique that can yield the best possible results for you. In your initial consultation, they can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each method, and answer any questions you may have.
Ocular Surface Tumors/Cancer
Dr. Garff is highly trained and experienced at carefully removing cancerous or malignant tumors that develop on the surface of the eye, such as squamous cell carcinoma and ocular melanoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer that can develop on the eye’s surface (conjunctiva). Dr. Garff is trained in the latest techniques for ocular tumor removal with ocular surface reconstruction. Ocular melanoma is another common type of conjunctival cancer found in adults, although it is fairly rare overall. If untreated, it can spread and even be fatal.
These types of tumors may not show signs or symptoms right away, so it is important to schedule regular eye exams to ensure early detection.
If your eyes are constantly dry, red, and irritated, you may be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome. This condition can be caused by a variety of things, such as environmental factors, contact lens use, or the natural aging process. However, it can also be caused by a lack of lubrication in the eye. We offer a variety of treatment options that can help alleviate Dry Eye Syndrome.
In addition to the conditions listed above, Dr. Prestera and Dr. Garff are skilled at treating a wide variety of other types of eye infections. If you are experiencing changes in your vision, irritation, pain, redness, or other irregularities, please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
Contact Prestera Eye Medical Group
For more information about corneal conditions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Prestera or Dr. Garff, please contact us today.