The cornea is the circular transparent part at the front and centre of the eye. It is a continuation of the sclera, the white part of the eye. The colour of the eye, the iris, can be seen through it. For the sake of transparency, the cornea contains no blood vessels. However, a pump ensures its relative internal humidity (not unlike a dry sponge). The corneal cells receive oxygen and nutrients from two different fluids, namely, tears (outside) and the aqueous humour (inside). As bacteria and viruses run up against little resistance, the cornea is prone to infection.
The cornea can be attacked by bacteria or by viruses, such as those that cause corneal herpes or shingles (zona). Inflammation of the cornea without infection is called “keratitis”.
Dry eye, also called “keratoconjunctivitis sicca”, is a very common and widespread syndrome.
A pterygium is a wedge-shaped fibrovascular growth of conjunctiva (the surface tissue of the white of the eye) that extends abnormally onto the cornea (the clear central part).
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Dr. Racine is a experienced corneal specialist and assistant professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Montreal where he teaches external diseases of the cornea and cataract surgery
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