The Konan Specular Microscope measures the corneal endothelium. This is the innermost layer of your cornea and its the most fragile layer because it is only one cell thick. The endothelial cells maintain the fluid balance of the cornea which is necessary to maintain clear vision. Unlike most cells in the body, endothelial cells cannot replicate themselves.
If these cells become sufficiently damaged, the cornea loses its clarity and clouds up, limiting or blocking vision.
So, What Causes Endothelial Damage?
There are many factors that can damage the cells of the corneal endothelium:
- Contact lens wear (long term wear of older types of lenses)
- Contact lens related eye problems (cloudy corneas, bloodshot eyes, etc..)
- Patients taking certain prescription eye drops
- Refractive surgery patients
- Cataract surgery patients (surgery is known to lower cell counts)
- Glaucoma patients (glaucoma reduces endothelial cells)
- Dry Eye
The procedure to evaluate your endothelium is simple, quick, non-invasive, and totally free of any discomfort. A special instrument called a specular microscope captures and image of your endothelium and allows us to analyze the appearance of the endothelial cells. If the screening examination indicates early endothelial cell damage, a more detailed examination of the endothelium may be indicated to provide the best possible treatment.