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Corneal Disease

When caught early, corneal diseases are treatable and don’t have to lead to further vision impairment. But without early intervention from an experienced ophthalmologist, corneal eye disease does lead to blindness. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, corneal disease is responsible for close to 20 million of the world’s blind population, which totals approximately 45 million. Get an early diagnosis and effective treatment to prevent blindness from the best eye doctors in New York City at Vitreous Retina Macular Consultants of New York. They have convenient locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Westchester. Call the experts for an appointment for you and your family to receive regular eye checkups that include testing for corneal disease and other problems affecting your vision. A trained specialist at the largest retina and ophthalmology practice in the New York Metropolitan area is your best defense against blindness.

What Is Corneal Disease?

Corneal diseases are disorders that affect the cornea of your eye. The cornea is a transparent film-like tissue covering the front of your eye. The cornea curves to refract light, working in conjunction with your lens, to help you focus. Your cornea also provides a protective tissue to shield your eye from infection and foreign particles.


Several conditions and diseases damage your cornea, but all of them have specific symptoms and available treatments. If something damages your cornea, it impacts your vision. You must get a thorough examination if you’re experiencing symptoms due to an injury, disease or infection for your eye doctor to know which disease you have and which treatment plan to pursue.

Ophthalmologists have more advanced training and education than optometrists and opticians, allowing these professionals to successfully diagnose and treat a wider variety of medical conditions that affect your eyes. Vitreous Retina Macular Consultants of New York (VRMNY) retina center has the most experienced ophthalmologists in-house to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of Corneal Disease?

As with most health-related issues, prevention always is the best way to avoid serious eye problems. Regular checkups allow your eye doctor to discover potential problems, like cornea disease. The common symptoms of corneal disease include:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Swelling in your eyes
  • Red, itchy and watering eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Blood in your eye
  • Eyestrain
  • A change in light sensitivity
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Halos around bright lights

Some of these symptoms mirror other issues, so seek a diagnosis from an expert, such as the eye doctors at VRMNY. In some cases, especially after an eye injury, you may want to first go to the nearest emergency room. Besides a direct injury, common corneal conditions include:

  • Keratitis, which is swelling of your cornea, also called corneal edema, usually caused by contact lenses
  • Deep scratches that create scarring and problems with your vision
  • Allergies that can lead to pink eye
  • Refractive errors that happen when your eye’s shape creates problems with your vision, such as blurriness, that can be corrected with glasses or LASIK eye surgery
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What Are Contributing Factors for Corneal Disease?

There are many conditions that make you more susceptible to corneal disease. This vulnerability may be due to your occupation, genetic makeup or other health issues you’ve had. Conditions that may affect your cornea include:

  • Ocular herpes
  • Shingles
  • Pterygium
  • Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome

Other factors that may have an impact on whether you contract a corneal condition include:

  • Spending time in the sun without sunglasses or a hat
  • Smoking
  • Using power tools without protective wear
  • Working in a very dusty environment
  • Being exposed to toxic chemicals
  • Overusing or wearing ill-fitting contact lenses

Some of these things you have control over, and they’re worth discussing with your eye specialist. When you learn of these dangers, you can implement a change to prevent worsening symptoms.


What Are the Different Kinds of Corneal Disease?

Corneal dystrophies are rare. These diseases tend to be hereditary and progressive. They cause a material to form on your cornea that clouds your vision. Your ophthalmologist at VRMNY may need to give you a complete dilated eye exam to make this diagnosis. More common examples of corneal diseases include:

  • Keratoconus is prevalent in teens and young adults. With this disease, the middle and lower part of your cornea becomes thinner and cone-shaped. This condition causes eye pain and critical issues with your vision over time.
  • Map dot dystrophy is more widespread and usually diagnosed in older adults, aged 40 to 70. Your cornea develops folds that look like dots or fingerprints. It’s sometimes called map dot fingerprint dystrophy.
  • Lattice dystrophy usually starts at a young age. A lattice-like build-up develops on your cornea, creating vision problems.
  • Fuchs corneal dystrophy usually causes symptoms at around 50 to 60 years of age. You tend to be more sensitive to light. Fuchs disease also makes it hard to see at night.

More conservative treatments may include special eye patches, eye drops or ointments. In more aggressive cases, you may need laser or corneal transplant surgery. These are the reasons catching the condition as quickly as possible is so helpful. These dystrophies occur equally between the genders, except for Fuchs corneal dystrophy, which occurs more often in women.

How Often Do I Need to Get My Eyes Checked?

As with any disease, early detection is invaluable. Many corneal diseases are asymptomatic at first. A thorough dilated eye examination is necessary to detect any eye disease. Your eye care specialist checks for various things, including:

  • Depth perception
  • Visual acuity
  • Eye alignment
  • Eye movement

Regularly scheduled checkups should start when you’re young, but it’s even more essential as you age. It’s recommended that you have your eyes checked every one or two years, depending on your age and existing conditions. Research has shown that as the current population ages, vision impairment and blindness will double without regular exams in less than 10 years.

The distinguished specialists with VRMNY dedicate themselves to early diagnosis and treatment. These physicians offer optimum care. They find solutions and treatments that reduce and prevent vision loss. Their practice has three convenient locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester. Contact the closest eye care center for an appointment today.

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(212) 861-9797

Updated on May 17, 2022 by Ophthalmologists & Retina Specialists of Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York

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