In searching for an eye specialist Houston area residents can rely on for proper treatment, it is important to know which part of the eye needs help. There is a major difference among specialists, depending on whether they treat the cornea in the front of the eye, or the retina in the back of the eye.
The eye specialist Houston residents can turn to for corrective LASIK treatment, or laser eye surgery to repair vision, would be a cornea specialist. These doctors have studied for a sub-specialty of ophthalmology that deals in diseases and conditions concerning the refractive clear portion at the front of the eye, which is known as the cornea. It acts as a shield for the eye, protecting it against dust, germs, and other potentially hazardous material. Much as a window lets in light, the cornea allows light to pass through and focuses it onto the retina in the back of the eye. In fact, the cornea is responsible for up to 75% of the focusing capability of the eye.
Direct corneal surgery, while complex, typically will not involve blood vessels, since the cornea does not contain any. It gets its nourishment from aqueous humor, or interior eye fluid, and tears. So dry eye is another condition the cornea specialist can be called on to treat.
Operating on the cornea can bring vision back into focus, whether the patient is complaining of farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, or something more serious. Major operations involving the cornea are a full corneal transplant and a relatively new procedure, Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty, or DSAEK, for short. Both require donor corneas to help restore the vision clarity for those with damaged or cloudy lenses. The newer technique only replaces a part of the cornea, and so allows faster healing.
The retina is the focal point at the back of the eye where light from the cornea is directed. Cells in the retina are light sensitive and will trigger nerve impulses that will travel along the optic nerve to signal the brain. A retina specialist is one who is able to diagnose and treat a number of conditions that can harm this part of the eye.
Surgical procedures and medical treatments in this part of the eye must be precise and done with great care. Microscopes can be used to approach the tiny confines of the retina, where operations are performed on extremely delicate tissues. A retina specialist will use a variety of tools, often a laser, to perform such procedures as diabetic vitrectomy, retinal detachment surgery, and macular translocation. Diseases and conditions that can affect the detailed vision provided through a healthy eye include river blindness, which is caused by a parasite entering the eye; diabetic retinopathy, which is damage to the retina’s blood vessels brought on by diabetes and is the most frequent cause of vision problems; and retinal detachment, which must be treated as an emergency or it can cause the permanent loss of vision.
Because our eye is divided up into several parts, each of which is important to clear vision, it can be difficult for an individual to determine which specialist is the proper one to consult. Dr. John Goosey is a cornea specialist. However, regardless of specialty, he will be able to help guide any patient to the correct care. Contact our office today with any questions or concerns you may have. We’re always happy to help.