Corneal Disease

  • Medical Author:
    Patricia S. Bainter, MD

    Dr. Bainter is a board-certified ophthalmologist. She received her BA from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and her MD from the University of Colorado in Denver, CO. She completed an internal medicine internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, CO, followed by an ophthalmology residency and a cornea and external disease fellowship, both at the University of Colorado. She became board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1998 and recertified in 2008. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Bainter practices general ophthalmology including cataract surgery and management of corneal and anterior segment diseases. She has volunteered in eye clinics in the Dominican Republic and Bosnia. She currently practices at One to One Eye Care in San Diego, CA.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

What are the causes and risk factors of corneal disease?

The causes of corneal disease vary widely. The conditions listed above are due to hereditary (inherited) causes, infection, trauma, autoimmune disorders, nutritional deficiencies, allergy, secondary causes (other eye diseases that also affect the cornea), growths, and tumors among others.

Risk factors similarly vary depending on the individual's circumstances. Some risk factors are not modifiable, such as inherited genetic conditions. Others might be avoidable by limiting exposure to trauma and infection. In many people, prompt treatment of a corneal disease in its early stages will minimize the severity of the disease and its complications.

What are the signs and symptoms of corneal disease?

Signs of corneal problems can include redness around the cornea and/or corneal cloudiness. Symptoms include

Blurred vision may be the result of an irregular tear layer or epithelial layer (as seen in dry eye), scarring (following trauma or infection), cataracts, deformity of the corneal curvature (as seen in keratoconus), or swelling of the cornea (as seen in Fuchs' dystrophy). Pain and light sensitivity can be quite severe, especially in conditions affecting the outermost layer (epithelium) of the cornea. Examples include traumatic abrasions, infectious ulcers, and erosions from dryness.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/14/2017

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