The cornea is the transparent layer that forms the front of the eye. It plays an important role in helping you focus by controlling the amount of light/UV rays entering the eye and refracting on the retina. Along with the eyelid, it also helps shield the eye from dust, germs and debris.
According to the Cornea Research Foundation of America, it has been estimated that up to 10 million people globally suffer from corneal blindness. If the cornea becomes damaged or diseased (see “Corneal Injuries & Conditions”), your doctor may recommend a corneal transplant procedure to improve and preserve vision.
During this procedure, the doctor will carefully remove the damaged or diseased corneal tissue. It is then replaced with healthy corneal tissue from a deceased human donor. For patients who are not a candidate for corneal transplants from a donor, there are artificial corneas made from synthetic material available.