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The Different Layers Of The Cornea

colourful layers

The eye has many important parts that all work together like a well-oiled machine! In this week’s blog post we will discuss in detail the cornea. Read on to learn more about the function as well as the different layers of the cornea! We hope you enjoy.


What Does The Cornea Do?

Before we go on to learn about the cornea’s function, it is important to know where it is located. The cornea is located in the front of the eye. More specifically it sits on top of the iris (the colored part of the eye) and pupil. It is a clear multi-layered tissue. It is considered the eye’s outer most layer.

The cornea is an amazing piece of tissue it completes several functions. One of these important functions is controlling and focusing light. Similar to a camera the cornea acts as a lens, it ensures just enough light enters onto the lens of the eye. All About Vision’s website explains the cornea, “provides approximately 65 to 75 percent of the focusing power of the eye.” Pretty amazing! Without it, the eye would be incapable of interpreting light. Additionally, the cornea also serves as a protectant, by helping ward off harmful germs, bacteria, and debris. The cornea also helps protect other parts of the eye like the retina from ultraviolet rays (UV rays). Keep on reading to find out exactly how the cornea does this in the next section – layers of the cornea!


Layers Of The Cornea

There are five layers that make up the amazing cornea, they are:

The corneal epithelium is the outer most layer of the cornea. It is composed of corneal epithelium cells, which account for approximately 10% of the entire cornea. This layer is constantly regenerating and total regeneration occurs every seven days. Scratches to this layer often heal themselves and without any long-term effects.

Bowman’s layer helps bind the corneal epithelium and the stroma together. This layer cannot regenerate itself once injured. Thus if this layer is damaged, permanent scarring can occur, which can affect an individual’s vision.

The corneal stroma accounts for approximately 90% of the cornea.

Descemet’s membrane consists of collagen and separates the corneal stroma and endothelium. This layer gradually thickens with age.

The corneal endothelium is the innermost layer and helps transport fluid from other corneal layers. If this layer is damaged this process can be compromised and ultimately negatively affect a person’s vision.

It’s important to always seek professional medical help from your local Victoria optometrist if you have injured your eye, which includes scratches to the cornea. Learn more about what to do if you scratch your eye in our previous blog post.


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We are Victoria BC’s trusted family eye care center! We look forward to meeting you!