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5 Common Conditions that Can Impact the Cornea

At the Florida Eye Center, we treat a wide variety of eye diseases and conditions, including glaucoma, cataracts, contact lens-associated problems, macular degeneration, and more. In this article, in particular, we’ll be going over five of the most common conditions that can impact the cornea, such as dry eye syndrome and chronic conjunctivitis. If you are currently affected by any of these conditions, please get in touch with an optometrist in Land O’Lakes as soon as possible to request an appointment.

Related: Why Should Adults Routinely Have Their Vision Checked?

1. Dry Eye Syndrome

Ocular surface disease, or dry eye syndrome, is a painful and persistent condition that occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. This can be due to any number of reasons, from certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis to taking certain medications like diuretics for high blood pressure. Other common causes include allergies, contact lens use, skin disease, and exposure to chemicals. Depending on the cause, treatment may vary from warm compresses and over-the-counter eye drops to intense pulsed light therapy (IPL).

2. Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a progressive disease in which the cornea thins out and gradually bulges out into a cone shape, resulting in blurry and distorted vision and sensitivity to light and glare. This condition typically begins to affect people between the ages of 10 and 25 and continues to progress slowly for 10 years or longer. Most people with the condition suffer from mild or severe distortion of their vision in addition to swelling and scarring of the cornea. Causes of keratoconus include genetics, eye trauma, eye diseases, and other diseases, such as Down syndrome and Addison’s disease.

3. Chronic Conjunctivitis

Chronic conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva — the thin, transparent membrane that covers the outer surface of the eye — that persists for four or more weeks. While this condition can be caused by a variety of microorganisms and environmental factors, it’s most frequently caused by staphylococcus, a distinct type of bacteria, or inflammation of the meibomian oil glands. As with any eye infection, symptoms usually include redness, itching, swelling, pain, discharge, and distorted vision.

Related: 3 Ways Your Vision May Change with Age

4. Ocular Surface Tumor

Ocular surface tumors are rare but potentially deadly diseases of the conjunctiva and/or cornea. The three main types of malignant surface tumors arising from the conjunctiva and cornea are ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), ocular surface melanocytes tumors, and lymphoid tumors of the conjunctiva. The preferred treatment option for any of these types of ocular surface tumors is typically a complete biopsy of the lesion with cryotherapy to the surrounding conjunctiva.

5. Ocular Herpes Virus

Finally, ocular herpes, also called eye herpes, is a viral eye infection caused by type 1 herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). This is the same virus that causes cold sores, but ocular herpes can also result from the sexually transmitted herpes simplex II virus (HSV-11) that causes genital herpes. The condition typically results in symptoms such as pain in and around the eye, headache, redness, rash, redness of the eye, and blurry vision. If left uncontrolled, the sores it produces on the surface of the cornea can lead to scarring and reduced vision over time. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or are simply in need of a routine eye examination, please reach out to an optometrist who specializes in optical in Land O’Lakes.

To schedule a consultation with an optometrist in Land O’Lakes, please request an appointment today.

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