The cornea is the transparent front part of your eye. It covers your eye’s pupil, anterior chamber and iris. There are instances when your cornea becomes diseased or damaged. When that happens, you can undergo corneal transplant. This is a surgical procedure that is undertaken to replace your damaged cornea with a cornea obtained from a person who passed away recently and who does not have any known conditions or diseases that can affect the viability of the donated cornea. A corneal transplant is usually taken as a remedy of last resort when medications and other conservative types of surgery can no longer heal the cornea. Some corneal conditions that can lead to corneal transplant are:
- Fuch’s Dystrophy
- Corneal scarring from injury or infection
- Genetic corneal dystrophies
As with any surgical procedure, a corneal transplant can be risky. Thus, you need to bear in mind the following reminders to help facilitate your recovery and to ensure that the procedure will be successful:
• Strictly follow your corneal specialist’s instructions and guidelines so as not to risk rejection or failure of the procedure.
• Make sure that your eye gets sufficient amount of rest after you undergo the procedure and you leave the hospital.
• You have to wear an eye patch over the eye that underwent corneal transplant to protect it from light and accidental injury like bumps or pokes. The new cornea may be damaged if it is exposed to particles or light. You can only remove the patch once your corneal specilaist allows you to do so.
• Use eye drops as prescribed by your doctor as these can prevent rejection of the new cornea.
• Never rub or press the affected eye as this can damage the new cornea.
• Avoid sports like swimming until your corneal specialist advises you that it is safe to do so.
• Avoid driving without prior consent of your corneal specialist.
• In addition to the eye patch, you should also wear sun glasses during daytime to further protect your eyes.
• Do not sleep on the eye that underwent corneal transplant.
• Make sure that the affected eye will not get wet. Your doctor will let you know if it’s already safe for you to do so. This can be within a week or a few weeks after the surgery.
• The risk of rejection is highest during the first year following the corneal transplant. Rejection means that the immune cells in your body might reject the new cornea. You need to watch out for signs of rejection that can include pain, light sensitivity, red eye and blurred vision. If you exhibit the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor immediately as this may be indicative of a serious problem: severe pain, eye redness, vomiting, continued vision problems, fever, chest pain, nausea, chills or respiratory problems.
• You are also at risk of developing complications after the procedure. You should also watch out for signs of swelling in the retina, eye infection, glaucoma, focusing problems and bleeding in the eyes.
• You may need up to 12 months to completely recover from the procedure. During this period, you need to see your ophthalmologist and optometrist regularly so he can monitor if your eye is responding positively to the corneal transplant.
If you have had a Corneal Transplant and are now struggling to see properly, contact us immediately through our quick enquiry tab at the top right hand corner. If we cannot personally help you possibly we will be able to recommend some near you that can.