The cornea is a transparent structure situated at the front of the eye. It is also commonly known as the “clear window of the eye”. It has two main purposes, which are protecting the eye from injury and infection and focusing light into the eye. It has more light focusing power than the lens. It is made up of five different layers.
Layers of the cornea
- This is the most superficial layer of the cornea. The cells here provide an optimal surface to keep the cornea moist and clear. These cells are constantly shed and replaced by stem cells located in the limbus. An imbalance in this process causes the eye to be chronically dry and irritable, leading to discomfort and visual deterioration.
- Bowman’s layer
- This is a dense connective tissue layer separating the epithelium and stroma.
- This is the thickest layer of the cornea. It provides structural toughness to the cornea and the special arrangement of the cells here gives rise to its transparency.
- Descemet’s membrane
- This is a dense connective tissue layer separating the stroma and the endothelium.
- This is the innermost layer. Cells here regulate the fluid content in the cornea. Damaged or diseased cells causes swelling of the cornea, disrupting its transparency and therefore affects vision.