Corneal transplantation, or keratoplasty, involves the thin, transparent covering that shields the eye from the outside world. This structure, the cornea, helps the eye focus light in the same way a camera’s lens does. Vision problems are often caused by misshapen corneas, and can be corrected with contact lenses, glasses, or laser eye surgery.
Corneal transplantation becomes necessary when problems with the cornea go beyond its shape. In cases of scarring, swelling, or infection of the cornea, a transplant may be the only option. Today, thanks to improvements in laser technology, surgeons performing corneal transplants can achieve a much greater level of precision than was possible when transplants were completed by hand.
In a corneal transplant, the surgeon removes the cornea from a donor and from the patient. With lasers, the surgeon cuts the edges of the corneas so that they can fit together precisely, as a lock fits into a key, and puts the donor cornea in the patient’s eye.
About Dr. Mark Hornfeld:
At Vista Laser Vision, his practice in New York, NY, Dr. Mark Hornfeld offers a number of corrective surgeries, including Lasik, cataract surgery, and keratoplasty. Dr. Hornfeld holds a DO (doctor of osteopathy) and maintains membership in the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
VESI (Volunteer Eye Surgeons International) has worked to restore eyesight to the world since 1986. Many people in underserved communities suffer with vision problems that can be easily corrected using modern ophthalmology tools and practices. VESI strives to reach out to these communities by establishing clinics and offering training to local ophthalmologists. The organization also provides surgical equipment to areas in need.
Volunteer doctors with VESI perform thousands of cataract removal surgeries, repair eye injuries, fix severe astigmatisms, treat eye degeneration, and sometimes restore eyesight to those who are completely blind. Regular eye exams are typical and, through charitable partners, corrective lenses are often donated.
To contact VESI about volunteer or donation opportunities, please visit http://www.vesi.org.
About the Author: Dr. Mark Hornfeld runs Vista Laser Vision in New York, is a fellow with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and has volunteered with Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India.
Recently, news organizations across the United States have reported a growing incidence of debilitating eye diseases. Ophthalmologist Mark Hornfeld answers questions about the reports.
Question: Which eye diseases are on the rise?
Dr. Mark Hornfeld: We’ve seen the biggest increase in eye diseases associated with aging or diabetes. For example, instances of diabetic retinopathy have increased by 89% over the last 12 years. This is a disease in which the blood vessels in the retina become severely damaged, affecting vision. In diabetics, retinopathy is often linked to uncontrolled high blood sugar. There have also been major increases in macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. These diseases are very serious and can cause blindness if left untreated.
Question: Do doctors know what causes these diseases?
Dr. Mark Hornfeld: Some of the increase is due to our aging population. We’re also seeing a large increase in metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity. These conditions take a toll on the whole body, not just on the eyes. In the second part of this article, I’ll explain how people can prevent these diseases and how they can be treated.
At Vista Laser Vision in New York City, Dr. Mark Hornfeld offers laser-based refractive surgery, including LASIK, performed using advanced methods such as IntraLase, a bladeless approach to LASIK surgery. IntraLase is a new type of laser that promotes the highest standards of safety, precision, and sterility. Dr. Hornfeld also advocates the bladeless approach due to the reduction of 90 percent of LASIK complications, most of which were caused by the use of blades.
Dr. Mark Hornfeld performs numerous other services for his patients. CustomVue promotes a tailored LASIK experience for each individual using a revolutionary system that captures an image of the eye, much like a fingerprint, considered 25 times more precise than old standards and equipment. Using CustomVue, Dr. Hornfeld can find more specific flaws and conditions than near- and farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Aside from refractive surgery operations, patients of Vista Laser Vision can make appointments to catch and improve issues such as glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, and ocular inflammation. Learn more at www.vistalaservision.com.
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