Millions of Americans suffer from diseases that can swell, scar or misshape the cornea. Some are genetic like Fuchs’ Dystrophy or Keratoconus. Others result from infections like those associated with Herpes Virus, Shingles or contact lenses. Drs. Altman, Primack and Shah, our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained cornea specialists, utilize the most advanced technologies and treatments to restore corneal clarity and clearer vision.
What is the Cornea?
The cornea is the clear “window” that allows light to pass into the eye. When the cornea is damaged, light rays entering the eye are scattered irregularly, decreasing one’s quality of vision. Medical and surgical therapies aim to maintain or restore corneal clarity.
What is Laser Vision Correction?
Laser vision correction, which includes Custom LASIK and PRK, represents the most precise method to eliminate one’s glasses or contact lens prescription. Drs. Primack, Shah and Altman are the only cornea-trained doctors in Berks County with Bladeless LASIK, and all procedures are performed in the safety and comfort of their on-site laser suite in their fully licensed Wyomissing surgery center. Call our laser vision coordinator, Lucy Bagdonis, at 610-378-8500 to schedule a complimentary evaluation.
What is DMEK?
DMEK (Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty) is the most modern partial thickness corneal transplant that treats patients with corneal edema (swelling) by replacing the cells on the inside layer of the cornea. This small incision procedure often allows patients to see better in weeks. DMEK patients typically have Fuchs’ Dystrophy. Both DSAEK and DMEK provide excellent long term visual results, DMEK patients have slightly better long term vision and lower long-term risk of rejection. See a Combination DMEK/Cataract surgery done by Kevin J. Shah, MD here.
What is a Corneal Transplant?
When a cornea is damaged, a cornea transplant can be used to restore a normal cornea. Multiple types of cornea transplants exist and all are offered at Eye Consultants of PA. Depending on each patient’s condition, our corneal specialists will recommend a specific type of corneal transplant, either a partial or full transplant.
What are the different types of Cornea Transplants?
Currently, 5 different cornea transplants exist, and all are offered at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania. Two types are full thickness and 3 are partial thickness.
- DMEK and DSAEK are a 2 similar partial thickness cornea transplants that treats patients with corneal edema (swelling) by replacing the cells on the inner layers of the cornea. This elegant, small incision procedure often allows improves vision in just weeks. Candidates for this procedure typically have Fuchs’ Dystrophy or a history of previous eye surgery.
- DALK (Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty) is a partial thickness cornea transplant that treats patients with irregular corneas by replacing the cells on the outer layers of the cornea. This procedure typically has a 6-month to 1-year visual recovery. Candidates often have keratoconus or scars caused by previous infection.
- PKP (Penetrating Keratoplasty) is a full thickness cornea transplant that treats severe corneal disease by replacing all layers of the cornea. It may take up to a year or more to see well after the procedure. Candidates often have severe keratoconus or previous corneal procedures.
- The Boston Type 1 Keratoprosthesis (Kpro) is a full thickness artificial cornea transplant that treats severe corneal disease by replacing all layers of the cornea. This is an option in eyes that are not candidates for a conventional PKP.
Causes a progressive thinning of the cornea that distorts the corneal surface. The result is blurry vision from irregular astigmatism. Keratoconus is usually treated with contact lenses, but may require surgery when more advanced.
Contact Lens Related Infections:
Are a common reason to consult a cornea specialist. Contact lens use (especially overnight wear) increases the risk of corneal infection. Corneal infections pose a serious threat to your vision and are treated aggressively with topical antibiotics. Patients no longer interested in wearing contact lenses may inquire about LASIK Laser Vision Correction.
Is a genetic disease in which the cornea becomes progressively edematous (swollen). As the swelling increases, the quality of vision decreases. In advanced cases, blisters can form on the surface of the eye causing pain. Patients with Fuchs’ Dystrophy and complaints of decreased vision typically undergo a DMEK or DSAEK procedure to restore corneal clarity.
Herpetic Eye Disease:
Is a common problem that causes scarring and corneal surface problems. The Herpes Simplex virus is known for causing cold sores, but it can also infect the cornea. The Herpes Zoster virus causes similar problems when shingles erupts around or near the eye.
Anterior Basement Membrane Degeneration (ABMD):
Causes irregular ridges on the surface of the cornea that can blur vision and sometimes predispose individuals to recurrent corneal abrasions.
About Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania, PC
Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania, PC, is the leading ophthalmology practice in the region. All of our doctors are Board Certified and our services span the full range of eye care. We have four convenient locations in Wyomissing, Pottsville, Pottstown and Blandon. Daytime and evening hours are available.
Our Cornea Specialists utilize the latest technology and enjoy an excellent reputation — one of high patient satisfaction and outstanding results. From the first moment a friendly staff member greets you until your surgery is performed in one of our state-of-the-art surgical suites, you’ll receive the compassionate care and personal attention that you deserve.
Make your appointment to meet one of our Cornea Specialists and discover how we can make your world a brighter, clearer place.