Recurrent Corneal Erosion
Recurrent corneal erosion is a disorder of the eyes characterized by the abnormal shedding of corneal cells from its outer layer, known as the epithelium. It is often the result of an existing corneal abrasion or a disease such as corneal dystrophy or diabetes. The condition may affect one or both eyes.
Risk Factors for Recurrent Corneal Erosion Syndrome
Risk factors for developing recurrent corneal erosion syndrome include the following:
- Injury of the eye
- Corneal disease
- Contact lens use
- Corneal ulcer or abrasion
Symptoms of Recurrent Corneal Erosion Syndrome
The symptoms of recurrent corneal erosion include the following:
- Acute eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- The sensation of having a foreign object in the eye
The symptoms of corneal erosion are often worse upon waking up and, in mild cases, may disappear within a few hours.
Diagnosis of Recurrent Corneal Erosion Syndrome
Recurrent corneal erosion is diagnosed during an examination with a slit lamp microscope. A fluorescein dye is used to provide contrast so the extent of the erosion will be visible.
Treatment of Recurrent Corneal Erosion Syndrome
This condition is initially treated with a topical antibiotic ointment at night to help keep the epithelial cells attached to the cornea. Lubricating artificial tear eye drops may also be beneficial as they can keep the eye moist. Treating any underlying disease that is responsible for the recurrent corneal erosion is often very effective in resolving the erosion issue as well. In severe cases that do not respond to these measures, alternative treatments include the following:
- Phototherapeutic keratectomy
- Therapeutic contact lenses
- Anterior stromal puncture
This laser procedure removes the outermost layer of the cornea to encourage the growth of new, healthier cells.