The cornea is the front part of the eye and plays a major role in vision by bringing the light rays entering the eye into focus. This is possible only when the cornea remains transparent as a mirror. But when it becomes opacified due to many causes, then the function of the cornea remains affected and is known as corneal decompensation. In other words, the function of the cornea is disrupted due to the structural changes. The causes of corneal opacity are trauma, long standing or non-healing ulcers, end stage of infectious disease or inflammatory disease of the cornea, loss of sensation over the cornea due to nerve damage, acid or alkali injury or as a complication of other eye diseases such as uveitis, glaucoma, retinal detachment.
The patients present with loss of vision, whitening of front part of the eye, watering or redness of the eye, difficulty in looking at bright light etc depending upon the underlying cause. Depending upon the causative disease, the treatment is aimed at preserving the integrity of the eyeball, measures to restore best possible vision in the given condition with glasses, contact lens or surgery. The surgery involves replacing the decompensated cornea with the donor tissue either partially or entire corneal transplantation. Post operatively, the patient will require glasses or contact lens.