Corneal disease encompasses a variety of conditions that affect the cornea

These serious eye conditions can cause clouding, scarring and eventually lead to blindness
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The cornea is the clear front window of the eye. It transmits light to the interior of the eye, allowing us to see clearly. Corneal diseases may be serious and lead to vision loss.

Symptoms of corneal disease include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Glare
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Contact lens intolerance
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Pain (some corneal disease can be extremely painful)

Common forms of corneal disease:

Keratoconus is a weakening and thinning of the central cornea that leads the cornea to develop a cone-shaped deformity. Progression can be rapid, gradual or intermittent. Keratoconus usually occurs in both eyes but can occur in only one eye.

Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy is a hereditary abnormality of the inner cell layer of the cornea called the endothelium. The purpose of this layer is to pump fluids out of the cornea, keeping it thin and crystal clear. When the endothelium is not healthy, fluids are not pumped out, and the cornea develops swelling, causing it to become cloudy and decrease vision.

Bullous keratopathy is a condition in which the cornea becomes permanently swollen. This occurs because the inner layer of the cornea _ the endothelium – has been damaged and no longer pumps fluids out of the tissue.

Corneal disease can be caused by:

  • Infection: Bacterial, viral and fungal infections are common causes of corneal damage
  • Contact lens overwear
  • Age: Aging processes can affect the clarity and health of the cornea
  • Eye trauma
  • Systemic diseases
Your eye doctor can check for corneal disease and trauma by examining your eyes with magnifying instruments. Using a slit lamp and advanced diagnostic technology such as corneal topography, your doctor can detect corneal scars, keratoconus and other problems associated with the front structures of the eye.
We can treat corneal infections with antibiotic or antiviral eye drops. If you have mild corneal swelling, we can treat this with topical medication. If you have scarring of the cornea, also known as corneal clouding, this may improve or at least stabilize over time. Permanent clouding of the cornea requires some form of corneal transplant. For many conditions, corneal transplants are curative.

How is keratoconus treated?

We can treat keratoconus non-surgically with special contact lenses or surgically with corneal cross-linking and/or corneal transplant.

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Academic resources on corneal abrasions & erosion

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A corneal abrasion is a scratch, scrape on the surface of your cornea. Fingernails, makeup brushes and tree branches are common culprits of corneal abrasions. Some other causes of corneal abrasion are rubbing your eye and having very dry eyes. Click here to read on.

The CMGs are guidelines on the diagnosis and management of a range of common and rare, but important, eye conditions that present with varying frequency in primary and first contact care. Click here to read on.

The purpose of this study is to comprehensively review the literature regarding recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) and to present treatment options and recommendations for management. Click here to read on.

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Dr. Bennett Chotiner
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Dr. Bennett Chotiner is the founder and medical director of Memorial Eye Institute. A noted innovator, in 1977 he established his clinical practice, the Pennsylvania Eye Associates. In 1984, he established the Pennsylvania Eye Surgery Center, Pennsylvania’s first …

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Dr. Erik A Chotiner
M.D., F.A.C.S.

GENERAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, CATARACT & REFRACTIVE SURGERY, LASIK SURGERY

Erik Chotiner, M.D. diagnoses and treats a wide range of medical eye conditions. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. Dr. Chotiner attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where he received multiple awards including the Physiology Prize for …

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Dr. Richard M. Kowalski
Dr. Richard M. KowalskiO.D
Dr. Kowalski is a specialist in comprehensive eye care, refractive surgery consultations and contact lenses…

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Dr. Kenneth H. Levin
Dr. Kenneth H. LevinM.D.
Dr. Levin is a specialist in cataract surgery, glaucoma and general ophthalmology

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Dr. Bradford K. SgrignoliD.O
Dr. Sgrignoli is a specialist in retina and vitreous disease & surgery, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy…

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Dr. Michael J. SilvettiO.D
Dr. Silvetti is a specialist in comprehensive eye care, refractive surgery consultations, contact lenses and low vision consultations…

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Dr. Katherine Won
Dr. Katherine WonO.D
Dr. Won is a specialist in comprehensive eye care and contact lenses…

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