Corneal Transplantation Rejection: Check these Useful Insights

cornea surgery
A corneal transplant is a surgery done to replace a damaged part of the cornea with tissue from a donor. The cornea is the transparent surface of the eye that allows light to enter the eye. A 
corneal surgery can restore vision and reduce pain. It can also improve the appearance of a damaged cornea. However, just like any surgery, a cornea transplant involves some risks and possible complications. One such complication is corneal transplantation rejection. Here we share with you useful insights on corneal transplantation rejection:

1. Why is a corneal transplant done? 

A corneal transplant is done to correct eye problems such as 

  • Cornea scarring 
  • Corneal ulcers 
  • Keratoconus
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy 
  • Problems caused by an earlier eye surgery 
     
    2. What happens if cornea transplant is rejected?

Corneal transplant rejection is the most common cause of transplant failure once the surgery is done. The rejection happens when the immune system doesn’t accept the cornea.

3. When does the rejection occur? 

Rejection can occur a few weeks after a cornea transplant. However, it’s more common after several months. It can happen even years after the transplantation.

4. Symptoms of corneal transplantation rejection

Here are some common symptoms that the body has rejected the donated cornea:

  • Red eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Vision problems 
  • Eye pain

You should rush to the emergency ward of an eye hospital if you notice these symptoms  after a cornea surgery:

5. How is the cornea chosen? 

Corneal tissue used in the transplant comes from people who have died. Corneas are not used from people who died from unknown causes or from donors who had certain medical conditions such as AIDS and hepatitis. The donor cornea can be used only if it passes the screening test. However, unlike liver and kidney transplants, people needing cornea transplants don’t require tissue matching.

6. What are the different types of corneal transplant? 

Cornea surgery types include the following:

Endothelial keratoplasty: In this corneal surgery, the inner layer of the cornea is replaced with a healthy inner layer of a donor cornea. This is used for those suffering from Fuchs’ dystrophy. The risk of rejection in this case is lower than others as too much tissue is not used.

Anterior lamellar keratoplasty : In this corneal surgery, the outer layer of the cornea is replaced with a healthy outer layer of a donor cornea. This is mostly used in patients with keratoconus and scarring of the uppermost layers of the cornea.

Penetrating keratoplasty: 
In this corneal surgery, the entire cornea is replaced with a healthy donor cornea.

7. Why would a transplanted cornea be rejected?

A corneal transplant is considered rejected when the donated tissue doesn’t receive the blood supply. The immune system recognises that the tissue as foreign and rejects it.

8. Corneal transplantation rejection is reversible: 

Cornea transplant rejection is generally reversible. The problem can often be treated effectively with steroid eye drops.  However, the chances of successful treatment is better when you seek medical intervention early on. 

9. Ways to avoid corneal transplantation rejection 

The risk for complications after corneal surgery varies from one individual to another, depending on a variety of factors. Some of the factors that are: 

  • Age
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Other existing eye problems
  • Original reason for the cornea transplantation

To help avoid corneal transplantation rejection, it’s important to follow all post-surgery instructions after surgery. Ask your eye doctor about your own risks for cornea transplantation.

Looking for an eye hospital for cornea surgery? 

Visit Disha Eye Hospitals for cornea-related problems. We have a dynamic team of cornea subspecialty ophthalmologists who are skilled in the latest medical and surgical care of patients with corneal diseases. We offer corneal transplantation and our doctors perform modern lamellar techniques such as DSEK, DMEK and DALK. We also have a microbiology lab to help us manage any case of corneal or surface infections.

We are among the few eye hospitals in West Bengal to have its own eye bank. The eye bank is located at our Barrackpore Branch.  Book an appointment at your nearest branch . 

How is a corneal abrasion diagnosed? How is a corneal abrasion treated? And other FAQs are answered here

The cornea is the clear surface that covers the front of the eye. It helps to protect the eye from debris and harmful UV rays. The cornea also plays an important role in focusing light. When the cornea is scratched, the injury is called a corneal abrasion. Small corneal abrasions usually heal in a few days. If you are looking for more information on corneal abrasions, here’s a list of FAQs and their answers: 

Question: 1 What is a corneal abrasion?

A corneal abrasion is a condition in which the clear outer layer of the eye (the cornea) is scratched. This can happen if the cornea is scratched by contact with dust, dirt, sand, fingernail and other objects. It can also happen if the eyes are rubbed too vigorously. 

Question: 2 How is a corneal abrasion diagnosed?

If you think you have scratched your cornea, it is important to see an eye doctor right away. The doctor will first ask about your symptoms and how the injury happened. Then he or she will look at your eye with a bright light and a magnifying lens. In some cases, the doctor may also use a special dye to help see the scratch more clearly.

Symptoms of a corneal injury may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • New eye pain which does not resolve within minutes
  • Increased sensitivity to light 
  • Redness or tearing of the eye

If you experience any of these symptoms after an eye injury, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can assess the severity of the injury and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Question: 3 How is a corneal abrasion treated?

It is better that you don’t rub your eyes when you are diagnosed with a corneal abrasion. Most of the time, tiny corneal abrasions heal within just a few days. Treatment for a corneal abrasion typically involves using artificial tears to lubricate the eye and help reduce pain and inflammation. Antibiotic ointment or drops may also be prescribed to prevent infection. In more severe cases, a bandage contact lens may be needed to protect the eye while it heals.

Usually, eye doctors prescribe oral pain medication for people with extreme pain until the corneal abrasion is healed. Anesthetics, which is a topical numbing medication, is given to allow examination. 

NoteNever use numbing medication at home because it can have toxic effects. 

Question: 4 Do corneal abrasions heal completely?

Usually, corneal abrasions heal without causing any problems. However, the surface of the cornea is sometimes not as smooth as before even after the injury has healed. After the abrasion heals some people notice that the eye feels irritated again. This is called “recurrent erosions.” Recurrent erosions occur when the cornea surface is not smooth. 

Recurrent erosions can also occur due to an underlying problem with the eye surface, such as vitamin A deficiency or dry eye. Typically, the recurrent erosions treatment includes artificial tears to help lubricate the eye and protect the eye surface.

Question: 5 How does cornea abrasion feel?

Usually, corneal abrasion is quite painful. You may feel like you have grit or sand in your eyes. You may notice blurred vision or tears or your eye may look red. Also, you may notice that light hurts your eye.

Question: 6 Can dry eyes cause corneal abrasion?

Severe dry eyes may lead to eye inflammation, corneal ulcers, vision loss and abrasion of the corneal surface if left untreated.

Looking for an eye hospital for cornea surgery? 

We, at Disha Eye Hospitals, have a dynamic team of cornea sub-specialty ophthalmologists. They are skilled in the latest medical and surgical care of patients with corneal diseases. Some of the cornea surgery types that our eye surgeons perform are: 

  • Keratoplasty
  • Corneal /scleral patch graft
  • Ocular Surface and Reconstructive Surgery

We are also among the few eye hospitals in West Bengal to offer corneal transplantation. We have one of the largest corneal transplant centres in the country. Find the nearest branch and call to book an appointment.