Cornea And External Disease

Foothill Eye Institute

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Pasadena and the surrounding Los Angeles County Area

Cornea and external diseases are conditions that affect the eye’s surface, often causing redness and leading to vision decline in the most severe cases. At Foothill Eye Institute, which has locations in Pasadena, Glendora, West Covina, Montebello, and Downtown Los Angeles, California, ophthalmologist Ron Gutmark, MD, and his team specialize in diagnosing, treating, and managing cornea and external diseases like dry eye, pink eye, and keratoconus. To schedule an eye exam, call the office or reserve your appointment online today.

 Cornea and External Disease Q&A

What is a cornea or external disease?

A cornea or external disease is any condition of the eye that affects its surface. The cornea is the clear layer covering the front of your eye that keeps foreign objects out of the eye itself, focuses light, and filters the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. 

When it’s damaged, it cannot perform these tasks as effectively as a healthy cornea would. 

The team at Foothill Eye Institute looks for signs of cornea and external diseases when they evaluate you with a routine eye exam. Many of these conditions cause vision loss or decline, and you should always book an appointment if you notice a change in your vision. 

Treatments might not resolve the disease, but they can strengthen the cornea and help you maintain vision. 

What are some of the most common cornea and external diseases?

Many cornea and external diseases can affect the front of your eye. The team at Foothill Eye Institute specializes in diagnosing and treating these common cornea and external diseases:


Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is a group of diseases that cause your eyes to get red, watery, and mucusy. It can come from viruses, bacteria, allergens, or anything else that irritates the cornea. 


Blepharitis is an inflammatory eyelid disease. It can make your eyes red and itchy like pink eye and also causes symptoms like light sensitivity or blurred vision. 


Allergies happen when your immune system reacts strongly to something that’s normally harmless in your environment. Eye symptoms of allergies include eye watering, irritation, and redness. 

Dry eye

Dry eye is a condition that happens when your eyes either don’t make enough tears or make tears that can’t sufficiently moisten your eyes. 


Keratoconus is a cornea condition that develops when your cornea takes on a cone-like shape instead of its usual roundedness. It causes distorted or blurry vision. 

How are cornea and external diseases treated?

The team at Foothill Eye Institute gives you a detailed evaluation toward making a diagnosis. Then, they can create a treatment plan for your cornea or external disease according to the type and underlying cause. 

You can manage many cornea and external diseases by using eye drops or artificial tears. Lubricating the surfaces of your eyes reduces irritation and redness in many conditions. Some eye drops are medicated with steroids, antibiotics, or antiviral medicines to treat cornea symptoms that come from specific underlying causes.

Aside from conservative treatments like eye drops or surgical treatments like corneal reshaping or repair surgery, the Foothill Eye Institute team specializes in corneal cross-linking, a procedure to increase collagen in the cornea. It treats cornea and external diseases like progressive keratoconus by strengthening the cornea. 

To schedule a treatment consultation for cornea and external diseases, call Foothill Eye Institute or reserve an appointment online today.