Corneal disease treatments

Corneal dystrophy, Fuchs’ dystrophy, keratoconus, corneal inflammation and injury

Corneal disease can severely affect your vision if not treated promptly and effectively. Duke corneal specialists in Durham, Raleigh, and Cary provide treatment for a variety of corneal diseases, including corneal dystrophies such as Fuchs’ dystrophy; corneal inflammation, scarring, and ulcers; dry eye; and keratoconus. If your condition has progressed to the point where you need corneal transplant surgery, we offer both full- and partial-thickness corneal transplants as well as artificial cornea placement.

Tadd Torborg is back behind the wheel after undergoing a corneal transplant at Duke.

When do you need a corneal disease specialist?

If corneal disease or injury is affecting your vision or eye health, it’s important to trust your care to a trained specialist.

  • Duke corneal surgeons are board-certified ophthalmologists with advanced training in the medical and surgical management of corneal disease. Our surgical expertise and access to the most technically advanced equipment ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment plan.
  • For younger patients, our pediatric ophthalmologists are experienced in providing for the unique vision and eye health needs of infants and children.
  • You’ll have access to noninvasive diagnostic imaging techniques that allow our doctors to look at your corneas and surrounding structures in high resolution. This helps us identify and assess corneal diseases such as ocular surface tumors, corneal infections, and dry eye.
  • To diagnose the cause of your dry eyes, we use advanced testing and imaging. You’ll also have access to advanced dry-eye treatments, including anti-inflammatory agents, thermal pulsation therapy, autologous serum tears, and scleral contact lenses.
  • If you have keratoconus, you may be a candidate for the first FDA-approved collagen cross-linking treatment, which can stop the condition from progressing and prevent you from needing a corneal transplant.
  • If you need corneal transplant surgery, we offer the latest corneal transplant techniques to remove only the diseased portion of your cornea, rather than all the layers of the cornea. This keeps the structural integrity of your eye, allows you to recover faster, and can minimize your risk of rejection.
  • If you have not had success with standard corneal transplants, you may be a candidate for artificial cornea implants (keratoprosthesis). We are one of the few eye centers in the region with expertise in this procedure.
  • You can also benefit from our patient support services, including educational materials and programs, a low vision rehabilitation program, and a dedicated social worker to help you and your loved ones manage your condition and maximize your quality of life.




Your corneal surgeon will conduct a thorough examination of your eye and its structures using a variety of imaging devices to help diagnose any corneal disorders or diseases.

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