Eye conditions that can be treated with cornea transplant

On 5 July 2022 at 02:09

As the world evolves, new technologies and innovations are taking center stage where health facilities are taking advantage of them to improve health services.

These include Pyramid Eye Center which has introduced advanced eye care services in Rwanda to help people to get rid of glasses.

Located in Kicukiro District of Kigali City, the facility conducts cornea transplant to treat some of the eye problems, hence helping people to continue their work without disruptions.

We have caught up with Ophthalmologists at Pyramid Eye Center who shed light on cornea conditions, cornea transplant and related conditions that can be treated among others.

Cornea transplant

A cornea transplant (keratoplasty) is a surgical procedure to replace part of your cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. A cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped surface of one’s eye. It’s where light enters your eye and is a large part of your eye’s ability to see clearly.

A cornea transplant can restore vision, reduce pain, and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea.

Also, most cornea transplant procedures are successful but carries a small risk of complications, such as rejection of the donor cornea.

Why it’s done

A cornea transplant is most often used to restore vision to a person with a damaged cornea. A cornea transplant can also relieve pain or other signs and symptoms associated with cornea diseases.

Below are a number of conditions that can be treated with a cornea transplant:

  • A cornea that bulges outward (keratoconus)
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy, a hereditary condition
  • Thinning or tearing of the cornea
  • Cornea scarring, caused by infection or injury
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Corneal ulcers not responding to medical treatment
  • Complications caused by previous eye surgery


Keratoconus (ker-uh-toe-KOH-nus) occurs when your cornea — the clear, dome-shaped front surface of your eye — thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape.

A cone-shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may cause sensitivity to light and glare. Keratoconus usually affects both eyes, though it often affects one eye more than the other. It generally begins to affect people between the ages of 10 and 25. The condition may progress slowly for 10 years or longer.

In the early stages of keratoconus, you might be able to correct vision problems with glasses or soft contact lenses. Later, you may have to be fitted with rigid, gas permeable contact lenses or other types of lenses, such as scleral lenses. If your condition progresses to an advanced stage, you may need a cornea transplant.

A new treatment called corneal collagen cross-linking may help to slow or stop keratoconus from progressing, possibly preventing the need for a future cornea transplant. This treatment may be offered in addition to the vision correction options above.


Signs and symptoms of keratoconus may change as the disease progresses.

They include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Increased sensitivity to bright light and glare, which can cause problems with night driving
  • A need for frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
  • Sudden worsening or clouding of vision

When to see a doctor

See your eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) if your eyesight is worsening rapidly, which might be caused by an irregular curvature of the eye (astigmatism).

He or she may also look for signs of keratoconus during routine eye exams.

The facility has advanced equipment used to correct vision problems.
Pyramid Eye Center has introduced advanced eye care services in Rwanda to help people to get rid of glasses.
Eye Pyramid Center has specialist doctors facilitating it in daily operations.