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What is the Cornea?

The cornea is that the eye's outermost layer. it's the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the attention .

Although the cornea is obvious and seems to lack substance, it's actually a highly organized group of cells and proteins. Unlike most tissues within the body, the cornea contains, under normal circumstances, no blood vessels to nourish or protect it against infections. Instead, the cornea receives its nourishment from the tears and aqueous humour that fills the chamber behind it. The cornea must remain transparent to refract light properly, and therefore the presence of even the tiniest blood vessels can interfere with this process. to ascertain well, all layers of the cornea must be freed from any cloudy or opaque areas.

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The corneal tissue is arranged in five basic layers, each having a crucial function.

These five layers are:

The epithelium is that the cornea's outermost region, comprising about 10 percent of the tissue's thickness. The epithelium functions primarily to:

Block the passage of foreign material, like dust, water, and bacteria, into the attention and other layers of the cornea.

Provide a smooth surface that absorbs oxygen and cell nutrients from tears. The epithelium is crammed with thousands of small nerve endings that make the cornea extremely sensitive to pain when rubbed or scratched.

Bowman's Layer
Lying directly below the epithelium may be a transparent sheet of tissue referred to as Bowman's layer. it's composed of strong layered protein fibers called collagen. Once injured, Bowman's layer can form a scar because it heals. If these scars are large and centrally located, vision loss can occur.

Beneath Bowman's layer is that the stroma, which comprises about 90 percent of the cornea's thickness. It consists primarily of water (78 percent) and collagen (16 percent), and doesn't contain any blood vessels. Collagen gives the cornea its strength, elasticity, and form. The collagen's unique shape, arrangement, and spacing are essential in producing the cornea’s transparency.

Descemet's Membrane
Under the stroma is Descemet's membrane, a skinny but strong sheet of tissue that is a protective barrier against infection and injuries. Descemet's membrane consists of collagen fibers (different from those of the stroma) and is formed by the endothelial cells that lie below it. Descemet's membrane is regenerated readily after injury.

The endothelium is that the extremely thin, innermost layer of the cornea. Endothelial cells are essential keep the cornea clear. Normally, fluid leaks slowly from inside the attention into the stroma. The endothelium's primary task is to pump this excess fluid out of the stroma. Without this pumping action, the stroma would swell with water, become hazy, and ultimately opaque. during a healthy eye, an ideal balance is maintained between the fluid getting into the cornea and fluid being pumped out of the cornea. Once endothelium cells are destroyed by disease or trauma, they're lost forever. If too many endothelial cells are destroyed, corneal edema and blindness ensue, with corneal transplantation the sole available therapy.


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