Corneal Conditions

Clinical Services

Corneal Conditions

What are Corneal Conditions?

Several common conditions can affect the cornea, or the clear protective outer layer of the eye. The cornea serves as a barrier to dirt, germs, and some amount of ultraviolet light. It helps focus light so you can see clearly. But the cornea can be damaged by injury, inflammation, disease, dry eyes, and corneal dystrophies. While the cornea can often repair itself, more serious conditions require treatment. Deep scratches can cause scarring and vision problems. Pollen can irritate the eyes, leaving them red and itchy.

Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea that can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi entering the cornea. This can occur after an eye injury or after improper care of contact lenses. Symptoms include severe pain, discharge, redness, tearing, and light sensitivity. Treatment may include eye drops and medication.

Corneal dystrophies, which tend to run in families, can cause cloudy material to build up on the corneas, can cause structural changes in the cornea, and can change the shape of the cornea. More than 20 types of corneal dystrophies exist, and most are progressive. Some cause vision loss or pain, but others may have no symptoms.

Other less common conditions can affect the cornea, including retinitis pigmentosa and vernal keratoconjunctivitis.

Causes of Corneal Conditions

Corneas can be damaged by bacteria, fungus, and viral infections. Aging also affects the clarity and health of the cornea. While some risk factors are hereditary, you can reduce your chances of cornea complications by protecting your eyes from injury and by practicing proper hygiene with your contact lenses.

Symptoms of Corneal Conditions

Some corneal conditions have no symptoms, while others cause eye pain, blurry vision, red eyes, watery eyes, and sensitivity to light. Seek immediate treatment if you experience Intense eye pain, blurry vision, or suffer a serious eye injury.

Diagnosis of Corneal Conditions

A comprehensive dilated eye exam will be conducted to check the corneas and determine an accurate diagnosis. Because some conditions don’t have symptoms, it is important to get regular eye examinations.

Treatment for Corneal Conditions

Treatment may include eye drops, contact lenses, laser therapy, crosslinking, or even a cornea transplant. Prescription eye drops that contain steroids, reduce inflammation, or contain medicine to treat disease may be used. Ultraviolet rays may be used in a process called crosslinking to stabilize corneal tissue. Certain infections and conditions that only affect the surface layer of the cornea might be treated with laser therapy. In the most severe cases, damaged corneas can be replaced with donated corneas, a procedure that is successful in about 90 percent of patients. Glasses or contacts may still be needed to see clearly.

What you can expect at the Cizik Eye Clinic

The Cizik Eye Clinic opened in 2007 and is housed in Memorial Hermann Plaza at 6400 Fannin Street. It includes dozens of exam areas, multiple operating rooms, and laser suites equipped with the most sophisticated equipment available for patient care.

People travel from across the country and the world for treatment at the Cizik Eye Clinic, in part because our affiliation with the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth provides unmatched resources and expertise. Our friendly staff works diligently to make your visit pleasant and efficient, as we maximize patient flow through everything from routine eye exams to the most advanced eye surgeries.

Our physicians are faculty members at McGovern Medical School and are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology or are board eligible. At the Cizik Eye Clinic, we understand that the eye is a small part of a whole patient who deserves top-notch, comprehensive care in a cutting-edge facility.

Contact Us

At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.