Corneal Disease (cont.)
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.
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.
In this Article
- What is the cornea?
- What are the different types of corneal disease?
- What are the signs and symptoms of corneal disease?
- How is corneal disease diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for corneal disease?
- What are the potential complications of corneal disease?
- Can corneal disease be prevented?
- Find a local Eye Doctor in your town
How is corneal disease diagnosed?
An eye doctor will need to obtain a complete medical history and perform a careful examination of the eye and surrounding structures. The cornea is examined in detail using a slit lamp microscope. The doctor may also use eye drops and colored dyes to diagnose certain conditions. Additional tests are sometimes necessary, including topography and keratometry (to study the shape of the cornea), pachymetry (to study the thickness of the cornea), specialized microscopy, and laboratory studies in some cases.
What is the treatment for corneal disease?
Treatment is tailored to the individual disease and the individual patient. The underlying problem and contributing problems need to be addressed. Treatments might include medications, laser treatment or surgery, depending on the condition.
What are the potential complications of corneal disease?
Depending on the nature of the corneal disease, complications could include vision loss or chronic pain. It is important to discuss the natural course of the condition with your doctor and review treatment options to minimize complications.
Can corneal disease be prevented?
In some instances, corneal diseases are preventable. For example, good hygiene and regular vaccinations can protect against many infectious diseases. Glasses and sunglasses with 100% ultraviolet block can minimize damage from the sun's rays, including pingueculae, pterygium, and eye surface cancers (carcinomas). Following directions about the appropriate use and care of contact lenses can help avoid corneal damage. Safety glasses protect against many types of trauma. A healthy diet with plenty of omega-3-fatty acids and sufficient vitamin A are especially important for maintaining a protective tear film layer. Regular eye examinations can detect certain conditions in their earliest stage when they might be most easily treated.
Krachmer, Jay H., et al. Cornea: Fundamentals, Diagnosis and Management. 3rd edition. Mosby, 2010.
Reidy, James J. Basic and Clinical Course 2010-2011 Section 8: External Disease and Cornea. Revised edition. American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2010.
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