Cornea near Sioux City, IA

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About The Cornea

The cornea is the clear, outer portion of the eye. Healthy corneas act as a protection mechanism for the eye and are naturally round in structure. The curved shape plays an important part in refracting light onto the eye, which provides clear, excellent vision. If a cornea develops a cloudy appearance or becomes abnormal in shape, this can impair your vision.

It is important to maintain optimal eye health by attending regularly scheduled eye exams. The ophthalmologists at Vance Thompson Vision can diagnose and treat a range of vision concerns and impairments, including corneal trauma or disease. Contact our expert team in South Sioux City, NE to schedule your comprehensive eye exam so we can help you maintain your best vision and eye health.

Cornea FAQs

Candidates for Consultations

If you are dealing with vision impairments, we recommend scheduling an appointment for a consultation at our office in the Siouxland area. In cases of corneal diseases, such as keratoconus, it is possible to experience decreased vision so it's wise to have your eyes examined to determine the specific issue. Our team offers a range of cornea treatments to improve an abnormally shaped cornea and help you gain clearer vision.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

During your consultation at Vance Thompson Vision, we will examine your eyes to check for signs of corneal problems, such as an abnormal shape, rough patches, or cloudy areas. We will discuss your medical records and family health history, and carry out several diagnostic tests. To treat corneal disease, our highly trained specialists will create a personalized treatment plan just for you. By utilizing the most advanced technologies and techniques, we will work to accurately detect and treat any eye conditions you may have. Our goal is to provide comprehensive, compassionate care for each and every patient.

Cornea Treatment Options

Several different treatment options are available for individuals who have vision impairments associated with a damaged or unhealthy cornea. The ophthalmology team at Vance Thompson Vision offers the following treatments for corneal conditions:


Keratoconus is a corneal disease in which the cornea becomes misshapen by bulging forward from its normal dome shape. This change in structure can cause vision difficulties, such as glares, distortion, and blurry eyesight. If you have keratoconus, you may find it challenging to do everyday activities, like reading or driving.

By treating keratoconus with the appropriate method, our ophthalmologists can help you regain improved vision and quality of life. The specific treatment performed will depend on the severity of your condition. Sometimes, prescription glasses or contacts can work well to improve the issue. For individuals in the earlier stages, corneal cross-linking is often the best course of action. However, if a more advanced treatment is needed, we may recommend a full- or partial-thickness corneal transplant.


Corneal cross-linking is a minimally invasive technique that involves the use of riboflavin eye drops and a UV light to strengthen the corneal structure. Typically, cross-linking is done to treat ectasia, when the cornea becomes weak and protrudes forward in shape, the same process that occurs in patients with keratoconus. In a healthy cornea, there is a natural cross-linking between collagen fibers to help the cornea maintain its shape and stability. In keratoconus, the corneal fibers begin to weaken, which causes the cornea to bulge outward, eventually leading to blurry or diminished sight. Corneal cross-linking helps to improve the bonds between collagen fibers to strengthen the cornea.

Fuchs' Dystrophy

Fuchs' dystrophy is a hereditary disease that affects the cornea and is usually not detected until middle age. The disease occurs when the endothelium (the inner layer of the cornea) begins to deteriorate, causing the cornea to swell. Because endothelial cells control the amount of fluid in the eye, fluid backs up within the cornea. As the cornea swells, an individual's vision can get worse. As Fuchs' dystrophy progresses, it may result in corneal blisters known as bullous keratopathy.

The first line of defense is often glaucoma eye drops to lower eye pressure. If the condition has progressed to the point of significantly impaired vision, we may recommend a full corneal transplant to treat the condition and recover your eyesight. Alternatively, a DSEK or DMEK (partial-thickness corneal transplant), which preserves the outer eye layer, may work better for some patients.

Corneal Transplant (DSEK and DMEK and Full-Thickness Transplant)

Corneal transplant surgery replaces either the partial or full cornea, depending on a patient's specific condition. For a partial-thickness transplant, we will take out the diseased endothelial layer of the cornea. In a full-thickness transplant surgery (penetrating keratoplasty), a full-thickness disc of the cornea is removed. In both types of transplants, the surgeon will insert a healthy sample of donor tissue, which will be secured by a gas bubble and possibly sutures to seal it into place. The goal of a cornea transplant is to repair the shape of the cornea so patients can gain clearer vision.

Assess Your Cornea at VTV

Our Vance Thompson Vision ophthalmologists and optometrists are world-renowned for their advanced techniques in treating disorders of the cornea. You can rest assured that you will be in great hands with our expert team in South Sioux City, NE. If you have had difficulties, such as eye discomfort or blurred or distorted vision, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. We offer many treatment options for corneal diseases to help you get back to enjoying your best possible eyesight and quality of life.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.