Cornea and External Disorders

Corneal topographer with an eye and cornea displaying on the screen

Cornea & External Disorders

About Cornea & External Disorders

The cornea is the thin, clear, dome-shaped layer of tissue that covers the outer surface of the eye. The cornea has two main functions: 1) to protect the eye and 2) to focus light into the eye.

  • Protection – The cornea is the outside barrier to the eye and helps to shield the rest of the eye from germs, dust, and other harmful objects. The cornea also serves as a filter, screening out some of the most damaging ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths.
  • Vision – The cornea acts to focus light and images into our eye. When light strikes the cornea, it bends or refracts the incoming light, contributing to its focus onto the retina, a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. The retina then converts the light into electrical signals that it sends to the brain. The brain translates these signals into images. This is why damage to the cornea can result in very blurry images.

Why Choose Columbia?

The Cornea and External Disease specialists at Columbia Ophthalmology diagnose, manage, and treat conditions such as corneal dystrophies, corneal infections, and refractive or visual problems that affect the cornea and the anterior or front part of the eye, which encompasses the conjunctiva, sclera, ciliary body, lens, cornea, iris, and pupil.