Treating Corneal Disease & Injury
The doctors at Broberg Eye Care treat several types of corneal disease and conditions, including keratoconus, Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy, keratitis, dry eyes, pterygium, and more. As the transparent outer layer of the eye, the cornea is particularly susceptible to trauma, infection, and other medical issues. If the cornea is damaged through injury or disease, it can impair your vision and ability to see clearly. Visiting one of the ophthalmologists at our Austin, TX, practice for a routine eye exam can help prevent corneal disease from developing. We also provide treatment for trauma and more to keep your corneas healthy and protect your sight.
As the transparent outer layer of the eye, the cornea is particularly susceptible to trauma, infection, and other medical issues.
Symptoms of Corneal Conditions
Common side effects of corneal damage include:
- Eye pain
- Blurry or impaired vision
- Eye redness or irritation
- Excess tearing
- Severe sensitivity to light
Your doctor will conduct a series of tests during your appointment to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Two of the most common corneal dystrophies that can cause structural damage to the cornea and impaired vision include:
This progressive eye disease causes the cornea to thin and distort, altering the eye’s ability to see clearly. Depending on the level of distortion, it often results in astigmatism or nearsightedness. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to light, eye fatigue, headaches, and double vision. If left unaddressed, keratoconus can lead to substantial loss of vision. Keratoconus can be corrected with glasses, custom-made soft contact lenses, or corneal transplantation.
Keratoconus causes the cornea to bulge outwards over time, distorting patients' vision.
Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy
Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy is a chronic eye disorder that causes swelling in the endothelium, the innermost layer of the cornea, and gradually leads to corneal deterioration. In the beginning stages, it can result in blurry or foggy vision, but as the disorder progresses, it may lead to painful blisters on the corneal surface. Early stages of Fuchs’ dystrophy can be treated with medicated eye drops designed to reduce pressure within the cornea. Advanced cases will require a corneal transplant.
This eye disorder is typically caused by bacteria, virus, fungi, or parasites that result in corneal infection, ulceration, or inflammation. Keratitis can occur from eye injury, contaminated water, or from simply wearing contact lenses too long. Symptoms include eye pain, redness, irritation, blurriness, or excess tearing or discharge. The moment side effects occur, it is important to visit a doctor to prevent further damage from occurring. Keratitis is typically treated with antibiotics or medicated eye drops.
Dry eye is a condition that can develop with age or be the result of eye surgery, disease, certain medications, or hormonal changes. Also simply known as dry eye, the condition affects your eye’s ability to produce tears for adequate lubrication. Side effects can include:
- Itchy eyes
- Gritty sensation in the eye
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
The type of treatment will depend on the exact cause. If dry eye is the result of medication you are taking, you can speak with your primary physician about adjusting your medication. In other cases, we may recommend over-the-counter or medicated eye drops to ease your symptoms. If side effects worsen or remain the same, we can insert punctal plugs to temporarily block the tear ducts.
Corneal abrasions occur when the outer layer of the eye has been scraped or damaged. This can result from a fingernail, sand, or other type of debris. Even the smallest scratch can cause eye pain, excess tearing, eye irritation, redness, and blurry vision. The moment the abrasion occurs, avoid rubbing your eyes or trying to treat it on your own. Doing so could cause additional damage. Most corneal abrasions heal within a few days by using medicated eye drops, resting the eye, and avoiding use of contact lenses.
Protect Your Health and Eyesight
If you are concerned you may have a corneal disorder or other cause for concern, reach out to our ophthalmologists immediately to determine the exact cause and type of treatment necessary. The sooner treatment can be administered, the greater chance you have of limiting long-term damage. Contact our office today online or by calling (512) 447-6096 to schedule your consultation.