Corneal nerves in health and disease

The corneal surface is the body’s most densely innervated tissue. Nevertheless, until recently the ocular innervation has not taken too much attention, because most sight-threatening diseases like glaucoma, cataract or retinal pathologies occur and progress without pain. The Tear Film and Ocular Surface Socienty (TFOS) has established a working group on ocular surface pain and sensation, which in 2017 published its report on the changes that take place in the ocular surface sensory pathways as a result of the corneal and conjunctival disturbances during dry eye disease, including the crosstalk between immune and neural elements [1]. More recently, Belmonte published a comprehensive overview on pain, dryness, and itch sensation in eye surface disorders as a balance between inflammation and sensory nerve injury [2]. Al-Aqaba et al. illuminated in their article on corneal nerves in health and disease the manifestation of corneal nerve dysfunction and nerve affection in corneal pathology, particularly in post-surgical conditions [3].


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