What is Specular Microscopy?
A microscope magnifies the cells thousands of times and the image is captured with a camera or video camera. The number of cells within one square millimeter are counted and recorded. The reason for this exam is to monitor the number, density, and quality of endothelial cells that line the back of the cornea. Healthy endothelial cells keep the cornea clear.
The endothelium of a young, ten-year-old, healthy cornea has approximately 3,500 cells in each square millimeter. Normal aging causes the cells to gradually decrease over time. By age 60, most people have approximately 2,500 cells per square millimeter.