E. Joseph Nadji, MD
Ophthalmologist & Cornea Specialist located in Santa Monica, CA
As a fellowship-trained cornea specialist in Santa Monica, CA, Dr. Nadji uses state-of-the-art methods to diagnose and treat diseases and other conditions affecting the cornea, helping patients restore clear vision and avoid serious vision-compromising issues.
Cornea Problems Q & A
What is the cornea?
The cornea is the eye's outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Your cornea helps keep dirt and harmful pathogens out of your eye, and it can also help filter out some of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Plus, it plays an important role in how well you see. If the cornea becomes diseased, infected or damaged, it can have a significant effect on your vision and your eye health. Dr. Nadji is a fellowship trained cornea specialist.
What symptoms do corneal conditions cause?
The cornea has three layers, and infections, diseases, and other conditions can affect one, two, or all three layers. The cornea has an amazing ability to repair itself, but some diseases or injuries can result in symptoms such as:
heightened sensitivity to light
How are corneal diseases treated?
Effective treatment relies on an accurate diagnosis, and that requires a comprehensive eye exam to determine how and why the cornea is being affected. Once a diagnosis has been made, the treatment will depend on the underlying condition, and can include:
prescription eye drops
special contact lenses
What is Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy?
Fuchs' dystrophy is a progressive disease affecting the cornea. Fuchs' dystrophy reduces the number of specific cells (called endothelial cells) that make up the inner layer of the cornea. Endothelial cells are key to keeping fluid out of the cornea, allowing the cornea to be clear. When the endothelial cells diminish, the cells stop processing water properly and fluid starts to build up in the cornea. The corneal tissue gradually thickens, causing it to slowly lose its crystal clear transparency. Because Fuchs' dystrophy is a progressive disease, over time, changes to the corneal cells may interfere with vision. Fuchs’ Dystrophy has also been shown to run in families. Dr. Nadji will examine your corneas to check for this condition along with measuring the thickness of the cornea, called pachymetry. In early stages, treatment may entail drops and ointments. In more advanced cases, a corneal transplant may be required. Dr. Nadji specializes in minimally invasive partial corneal transplant called DSAEK, Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty, where only the unhealthy portion of the cornea is removed and replaced with healthy donor tissue. The DSAEK procedure uses a smaller surgical incision allowing for more rapid recovery and visual rehabilitation. It also reduces the risk of complications.
What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that causes a healthy round cornea to become thin and bulge into a cone-like shape. This disease can make vision blurry and cause difficulties performing everyday tasks such as driving a car, watching television, or reading a book. It can be screened for early in children and adolescents with the key being early detection. Our office has one of the only Pentacam ® HR cameras in Santa Monica which is the latest technology for the early detection of Keratoconus. With this camera, we are capable of measuring over 138,000 distinct points on the cornea within 2 seconds.
What is a Pinguecula and Pterygium?
Pinguecula and Pterygium are growths on the cornea and the conjunctiva — the thin, filmy membrane that covers the white part of your eye (sclera). Both growths are noncancerous and thought to be caused in part by Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, dry eye and environmental elements such as wind and dust. A pinguecula or pterygium may become red and swollen on occasion, and some may become large or thick, making you feel like you have something in your eye. If a pterygium is large enough, it can actually affect the shape of the cornea’s surface, leading to astigmatism. Dr. Nadji is a specialist at diagnosis, medical management, and if required, the surgical removal of these growths. Dr. Nadji offers the latest surgical treatment for pterygium surgery with no stitches resulting in faster recovery, less discomfort, and great cosmetic result.
What are contact lens associated infections?
While contact lenses are safely used by millions of people every day, they do carry a risk of eye infection. The most common infection related to contact lens use is keratitis, an infection of the cornea. Symptoms of contact lens-related infections may include blurry vision, redness of the eye, pain, tearing or discharge from the eye, increased light sensitivity or the sensation of something in your eye. These infections should be treated immediately. Dr. Nadji will examine your cornea and place you on the appropriate therapy in the setting of an infection.
Please call Dr. Nadji's office for any insurance questions.
Words from our patients
"Dr. N displayed fantastic bedside manner & answered all my questions. Surgery was quick & painless. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking laser vision correction."
"Dr. Nadji was very professional and welcoming, and made time to listen to me. I recommend this physician if you are looking for a kind and knowledgable ophthalmologist!"