A wide variety of infectious agents can affect the cornea. The most common cause of corneal infection is a bacterial ulcer caused by poor contact lens hygiene. Sleeping in contact lenses, reusing cleaning solution, and not using appropriate contact lens cleaning solution increase the risk of corneal infection 15x that of someone who cleans their contact lenses routinely and appropriately.
Signs of a corneal infection include:
If you experience these symptoms it is important to see your eye doctor immediately. We at VisionFirst Eye Center have extensive experience in successfully diagnosing and treating ocular infections.
Corneal dystrophies refer to a group of bilateral, hereditary corneal disorders where substances deposit within the various layers of the cornea and accumulate over time. This often results in decreased vision and light sensitivity, but can also be painful depending on which layer of the cornea is affected.
Corneal dystrophies are generally diagnosed during a routine eye exam. Initially, you may not have symptoms, but the vision can gradually deteriorate with age.
There are over 20 different corneal dystrophies. Though symptoms of each type will vary, all corneal dystrophies share these traits:
There are a variety of treatment options available for corneal dystrophies. Some dystrophies may be asymptomatic and can be observed. Others may require an in-office cornea procedure, laser vision correction, or corneal transplantation in order to restore vision.
Keratoconus is a progressive disease that causes abnormal thinning and protrusion of the cornea. Keratoconus often causes decreased vision even with prescription glasses and rigid contact lenses may be necessary in order to obtain quality vision.
Keratoconus can often be diagnosed during a routine eye examination.
There are several treatment options depending on the severity of keratoconus. Specialty contact lenses may provide adequate treatment for stable disease, and corneal INTACS are a potential option for patients who are contact lens intolerant.
Corneal crosslinking has been FDA approved for the treatment of progressive keratoconus. During this procedure your doctor applies liquid Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) drops to the cornea, followed by 30 minutes of UV light exposure. The combination of Riboflavin and UV light helps to strengthen the cornea and stop progression of keratoconus.
When keratoconus is severe and visual quality is poor even with specialty contact lenses, the ophthalmologists at VisionFirst can perform corneal transplantation to restore your vision.
A scar on the surface on the cornea may result from trauma, infection, inflammation, rigid contact lens wear, and many other etiologies.
There are a variety of treatments depending on the location and depth of corneal scarring, as well as its impact on your quality of vision. At VisionFirst, we will assess the corneal scar and can recommend different treatment modalities including specialty contact lenses, laser vision correction, or corneal transplantation.
A pterygium (ter-idge-ee-um) is a non-cancerous, triangular-shaped growth that begins on the white surface of the eye (conjunctiva) and spreads onto the cornea. UV sunlight exposure is the primary risk factor for pterygium formation and progression. A pterygium can cause foreign body sensation, irritation, tearing, and redness. These symptoms can be treated by eye drops or ointment prescribed by your doctor at VisionFirst.
However, if a pterygium becomes too large it can cause corneal astigmatism, corneal scarring, and decreased vision. If this occurs, your ophthalmologist will determine whether surgery is needed to remove your pterygium and improve your vision.
A chemical injury should be treated as a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Be sure to contact your eye doctor as soon as possible should you sustain a chemical eye injury.
There are two types of chemical injury: acid and alkali.
Acid burns are generally less extensive than alkali burns because acids do not penetrate the eye as deeply.
Common causes of acid burns include:
Alkali agents penetrate the eye more deeply and rapidly than acids, resulting in significant ocular damage.
Common causes of alkali burns include:
If you sustain a chemical injury to your eye, it is critical to aggressively irrigate the eye to remove the chemical. If you do not have irrigation fluid available to you, water will work as well. Flush the eye as much as possible and seek immediate medical attention.