Corneal edema treatments

Written by heather topham wood | 13/05/2017

Corneal oedema is a condition that occurs when the cornea of the eye starts to swell. The cornea covers the iris and pupil and is responsible for focusing light into the eye. Corneal oedema can be a result of post-operative eye surgery, trauma, glaucoma, disease of the cornea or an eye infection. You need to speak to your eye doctor immediately about corneal oedema. In some cases, it is caused by serious eye conditions.

Symptoms

When you have corneal oedema, you may feel discomfort in the affected eye. Your vision can also be influenced, and you may have difficulty seeing. Patients state that a halo effect typically appears around objects that transmit light. If the condition gets progressively worse, your vision may deteriorate, and you could feel an intense pain.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Speciality drops to treat corneal oedema have the ability to draw fluid out of the cornea and allow them to move into the tears of the eye. As you release the tears, the fluid is drawn out of the eye. Most of the drops used to treat corneal oedema are available over the counter. For example, Sodium Chloride Hypertonicity Ophthalmic Solution 5 per cent, which is available at chemists, instructs users to treat corneal oedema by placing one to two drops in affected eye every three to four hours.

As an alternative to treating corneal oedema with eye drops, you can find the same medication available over the counter in ointment form. In contrast, you'll place a small drop of the ointment to the underside of your eyelids every three to four hours to treat corneal oedema.

It is extremely important to note that using eye drops or the ointment will only treat corneal oedema as a secondary symptom. You may need additional treatment depending on the primary cause.

Treating Primary Cause

One of the major ways to treat corneal oedema is to pinpoint the cause of the condition and treat it under the care of an eye doctor. For instance, if it's caused by an eye infection, your doctor will provide you with eye drops to treat the infection. Contact lenses that fit poorly or overuse of contact lenses can lead to corneal oedema. You may need a new pair of contact lenses as well as advice from your doctor on safe use. Glaucoma is a serious disease and needs medical care. You will likely require medicated eye drops and maybe even surgery to release the pressure in the eye. Diseases of the cornea, such as Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy, are treated with medicated eye drops and surgery that covers the corneal flap.

In rare cases, surgery may be needed to treat corneal oedema. If corneal oedema becomes severe, blisters on the cornea can appear. The cornea may need to be replaced with a transplanted cornea.

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