The cornea and its role in human vision

22 Mar 2014

Located at the front of the eye, the cornea is a unique connective tissue found in the human body in that it is completely transparent and it receives its nourishment from the various fluids found in the eye.

Incoming light enters the eye via the cornea in parallel rays, which must be refracted or bent by the cornea so that they can land on the centre point of the retina at the back of the eye.

Light must land on this exact point of the retina for images to be processed accurately by the brain and to create sharp vision that is in focus at any distance.

When the cornea is misshapen or incorrectly curved, light is refracted inaccurately and cannot land directly on the retina, causing vision to appear blurred.

How is it that only the cornea is affected by Laser Eye Surgery?

Every day the cornea must process UV rays that make up natural light, so it is biologically engineered to have an extremely high absorption rate and is able to tolerate strong wavelengths of light.

An Excimer Laser is used during Laser Eye Surgery to perform a correction on the cornea by carefully removing tissue from its surface using a cool beam of ultraviolet light.

Surrounding tissue and the layers of the eye beneath the cornea are unaffected by the laser because no heat is projected onto the surface.

How long does the cornea take to heal after Laser Eye Surgery?

The cornea is an incredibly resilient protein structure and can withstand minor irritations or scratches quite easily, as it heals rapidly.

Optilase patients must use medical eyedrops to keep eyes moist as the cornea heals and also wear protective goggles that are placed over the eyes after Laser Eye Surgery to shield the eyes from any dirt or debris that might cause irritation or infection.

The day after Laser Eye Surgery at Optilase Northern Ireland, patients will undergo a follow-up consultation to ensure both eyes are healing correctly.

Can anyone have Laser Eye Surgery?

Eligibility for Laser Eye Surgery depends on a number of factors, including the thickness of your cornea and the size of your pupils when fully dilated.

During your free consultation at Optilase you will be assessed as to whether you are a suitable candidate for Laser Eye Surgery.

Arrange your free, no obligation consultation at any Optilase clinic in Belfast, Newry, Derry/Londonderry by calling 08000 121 565 or visit

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