Loss of feeling in the cornea, or clear “window” of the eyeball, can be devastating. Without adequate sensory input from the eyeball, the blink reflex, tear production, and many other mechanisms for normal ocular health are adversely affected. This can lead to dry eyes, corneal abrasions or ulcerations, or even blindness.
This loss of feeling (called “corneal anesthesia”) can be caused by eye infections (for example, herpes virus), brain surgery, eye surgery, or congenital conditions. While the underlying condition may not be treatable, improving corneal sensation can restore normal protective functions to the eye and improve vision and quality of life.
Does insurance cover surgery?
Health insurance typically covers corneal neurotization. Please schedule a consultation so that we can comprehensively assess your eye and determine the best plan for you. We look forward to offering this exciting new procedure to help you with you or your child’s condition.
How is surgery performed?
Surgery is performed via a minimally invasive approach. First, a nerve conduit is selected; this may be a nerve from your own body (your face, leg, or other part of the body) or a commercially available nerve graft. This nerve is then sutured to connect a working nerve on your face with your cornea. Over time (6-24 months), the nerve tissue grows into the cornea and innervates it, allowing you to regain sensation.