Cornea and Its Function

Cornea and Its Function

November 15, 2022

What is cornea?

The cornea is the transparent part that is located on the front side of the eye. It can be said that the cornea acts like a magnifying glass. It controls the amount of light coming to our eyes and helps our eyes to focus on the objects. These functions aside, it also protects our eyes from harmful particles like dust and germs.

Corneas’ five layers are made of cells and proteins. Unlike the other tissues existing in the body, interestingly, the cornea doesn’t contain any blood vessels to nourish it. It’s because the cornea needs to be clear so that the light source enters the eye. Instead of blood vessels, the fluid produced by the eyes like tears and aqueous humor nourishes the eyes.

What is the function of the cornea?

The main function of the cornea is to refract and bend the light for the eyes to be able to focus on items. The majority of our focusing ability is thanks to our cornea, the remaining is due to the lens.

Our corneal epithelium helps tears to spread across our cornea and keeps it moist, which makes our vision clear.

Once the light hits our cornea, it bends or refracts the coming light onto the lens. The lens re-focus that light onto our retina – the part in the back of the eye with light-sensing cells- and then we perceive the light in our vision.

We can think of this process as taking a photo with our camera. In this case, our cornea and lens act the same way as the camera’s lens. The retina can be seen as the film. If you cannot focus well on the item, the image on your film will be blurry. The cornea also functions as a filter that screens out the damaging UV wavelength coming from the sunlight.

Why is the cornea important?

As the cornea does the majority of the focusing, it is of great importance. It’s our cornea that determines how much light will be reflected on our lens and then onto the retina. In short, it plays a crucial role in our vision.

Preventing the eye from germs and dust and acting as a filter, the cornea is very important in visual clarity.

What happens if the cornea is damaged?

Corneal damage is the most common cause of blindness in the world, especially in less developed countries. Clouding or scarring in the cornea usually results in glared or blurry vision.

Corneal damage can also occur with the injuries affecting the outermost layer of the eye, with the scars from eye surgeries, infections, etc.

Does a cornea transplant improve vision?

Corneal transplant surgery can help patients with the damaged cornea to restore their vision by replacing their original corneal tissue with an organ donor.

How long does it take for a cornea to grow back?

The majority of corneal abrasions heal in a few days but the condition should be supported with antibiotic drops or ointments.

What causes the cornea to fail?

There are a lot of causes for corneal failure. However, the most common one is endothelial decompensation, when the endothelial cells die and the cornea gets edematous. In this case, the vision gets cloudy and worsens.

How do you keep your cornea healthy?

Nutrition comes first! Leading a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet helps a lot with our vision. Performing eye exercises and protecting the eyes from direct sunlight are among the things to be done to keep your cornea healthy.

What vitamin is good for cornea?

Vitamin A helps to maintain the cornea clear. This vitamin is the rhodopsin component, which is a protein in the eyes that helps us see in dim light.

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects our eye cells.

What foods help heal the cornea?

Eating the rainbow is always known to protect and strengthen our eyesight. Carrots, are rich in beta-carotene, which is the forerunner of Vitamin A. As mentioned above, vitamin A helps to keep our cornea to be clear. Yellow-orange bell peppers contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zeaxanthin, and Lutein which lower the risk of macular degeneration.

Incorporating green vegetables like broccoli and kale is of great importance as they have nutritious for your corneal health.