What is Corneal Dystrophy and How is it Caused?

The cornea is the clear outer tissue that covers the front of the eye. It protects it from dirt, dust, or bacteria, and bends light so that it hits the retina properly. A healthy cornea is dome-shaped. When the shape or condition of your cornea changes, it affects your vision. This is why it’s important to have your eyes checked regularly at Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX, whether you have had changes with your vision or not. Our board-certified ophthalmologists offer different treatments for corneal dystrophy and other corneal disorders.

What is corneal dystrophy?

At Focal Point Vision, our cornea specialists have years of experience diagnosing, treating, and helping our patients manage different corneal eye diseases and disorders. Corneal dystrophy is a degenerative eye disease that causes excess fluid in the cornea. When someone has corneal dystrophy, it can cause impaired vision. Deterioration to any of the six layers of the cornea can lead to swelling. It is similar to a smudge on a lens.

There are different kinds of corneal dystrophy based on which layer of the cornea is affected and the reasons for deterioration, including:

  1. Endothelial dystrophy: This affects the innermost layer of the cornea.

  2. Epithelial dystrophy: This affects the outermost layer of the cornea.

  3. Stromal dystrophy: This affects a middle layer of the cornea that is responsible for strength, structure, and flexibility.

Causes of corneal disease

Bacterial, fungal, and viral infections can cause corneal damage. The aging process can also affect corneal health. Genetics also plays a major factor in someone’s eye health. The prolonged use of contact lenses can make a patient more susceptible to developing a corneal disease.

Corneal dystrophy symptoms

Some of the most common signs of corneal dystrophy include:

  • Blurry vision

  • Halos around light

  • Difficulty seeing a night

  • Eye pain

  • The feeling of something in the eye

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment at Focal Point Vision as soon as possible.

What does a cornea specialist do?

At Focal Point Vision, one of our cornea specialists checks patients for corneal disease or damage by looking at their eyes with magnifying tools. A slit-lamp examination allows us to look for corneal scars and early cataracts. If you’ve been diagnosed with a corneal disease, we will begin treatment immediately.

To restore vision that has become cloudy due to damage to your cornea, we offer different treatment options, including:

  1. Corneal transplants: Corneal transplantation is the first of its type performed on humans. At Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX, we perform the Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty and Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty. This depends on the layer of corneal tissue that is damaged.

  2. Keratoprosthesis: This is used on patients with severe corneal disease. The device helps remove thickness, which can affect vision. After a healing process, a second surgery is done to place your corneal transplant.

  3. Superficial keratectomy: A superficial keratectomy is an eye surgery that smoothes out or removes the outer layer of the corneal tissue. This is recommended for those with anterior corneal damage.

Learn if you have corneal dystrophy or another cornea eye disease

Corneal eye diseases affect your vision considerably. When you’re experiencing changes with your vision, it’s important to schedule an appointment at Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX for an eye exam. Allow our professional eye specialists to help you get clear vision again.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.