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 potential complications of corneal disease?

Many corneal diseases are treatable and have a good prognosis. However, vision loss and chronic eye pain are potential complications of corneal disease so it is important to review treatment options carefully with an eye doctor.

Is it possible to prevent corneal disease?

Many corneal diseases are preventable by reducing risk factors. For example, maintaining optimal eye health (with good hygiene and regular vaccinations) is the best prevention against many infectious diseases. For example, there are vaccines available to reduce the severity and frequency of shingles, which can result in an eye herpes infection called herpes zoster ophthalmicus. Contact lens wear can make individuals especially susceptible to serious corneal infections, so people should clean contact lenses as directed. Glasses and sunglasses with 100% ultraviolet block can protect against growths that are associated with sun exposure, such as pterygium, and eye surface cancers. Safety glasses should be worn when warranted to prevent trauma. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and sufficient vitamin A may help maintain a healthy tear film, thus minimizing dry eye symptoms. Reviewing one's family's ocular health history is helpful in looking for hereditary conditions. Regular eye examinations are important for detecting eye diseases at their earliest stages.


Krachmer, Jay H., et al. Cornea: Fundamentals, Diagnosis and Management. 3rd edition. Mosby, 2010.

Randleman, J.B., S.S. Khandelwal, and F. Hafezi. "Corneal cross-linking." Surv Ophthalmol 60.6 Nov.-Dec. 2015: 509-523.

Reidy, James J. Basic and Clinical Course 2010-2011 Section 8: External Disease and Cornea. Revised edition. American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2010.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/14/2017

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