Corneal topography is a non-invasive medical imaging technique for mapping the surface curvature of the cornea, the outer structure of the eye. Since the cornea is normally responsible for some 70% of the eye's refractive power, its topography is of critical importance in determining the quality of vision and corneal health.
The three-dimensional map that is created is a valuable aid to us in the diagnosis and treatment of a number of conditions; in planning refractive surgery such as LASIK and evaluation of its results; or in assessing the fit of contact lenses.
Corneal topography extends the measurement range from the four points a few millimeters apart that is offered by keratometry to a grid of thousands of points covering the entire cornea. The procedure is carried out in seconds and is completely painless.
The patient is seated facing a bowl containing an illuminated pattern. The pattern is focused on the anterior surface of the patient's cornea and reflected back to a digital camera at the centre of the bowl. The topology of the cornea is revealed by the shape taken by the reflected pattern. A computer provides the necessary analysis, typically determining the position and height of several thousand points across the cornea. The topographical map can be represented in a number of graphical formats, such as a sagittal map, which color-codes the steepness of curvature according to its dioptric value.