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Corneal Erosion: The Treatment and Symptoms

Ever woken up in the morning and felt as though your eyes were not only dry, but also light sensitive, sore, and even pretty painful?

Or what about constant tearing, and if even like your eyes had sand or grit in them?

On top of that, have you noticed that you also suffer from headaches or blurred vision at the same time as this discomfort?

If you answered yes to more than two of the above questions, then the chances are pretty high you’ve experienced a corneal erosion.

The Symptoms of Corneal Erosion

The cornea is a dome-shaped surface which, much like our skin, protects and covers the front of the eye.

Corneal erosion is when the epithelium layer of the cornea (a bit like the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin), wears away. In many cases, this occurs spontaneously, and it is often regarded as one of the most common and neglected ocular disorders.

One of the reasons for this is symptoms of corneal erosion are similar to those of a corneal abrasion: the feeling of something in your eye, pain and soreness of the eye, redness of the eye, sensitivity to light, tearing and blurred vision.

However, whereas a corneal abrasion has to do with scratches, scrapes, or cuts on the eye, a corneal erosion is caused by a loose attachment of the epithelium to the tissue underneath.

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Treating Corneal Erosions

Treating a corneal erosion is often straightforward and varies from lubricating drops, topical ointment, and using a therapeutic contact lens (TCL) which reduces the pain and encourages healing.

In cases where the corneal erosions have occurred several times, minor surgery of the corneal surface may be necessary.

Recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) occurs when the epithelium (the outermost layer of the cornea) is not being properly anchored to the next layers of the cornea. Further treatment may be needed and a few options include:

  1. Performing a procedure called anterior stromal puncture. This involves making tiny holes on the surface of the cornea to promote stronger attachments between the top layer of corneal cells and the layer of the cornea underneath;
  2. Gentle removal of the damaged epithelium (the outermost layer of the cornea);
  3. Removal of a small layer of corneal cells using a laser.

Laser Eye Surgery: A Solution to Corneal Erosions

Other than the treatments outlined above, as it is a minimally invasive and considered one of the only effective therapies over the long-term, another, and often far more attractive option for treating recurrent corneal erosion, is Laser Eye Surgery.

Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) is a type of laser surgery that involves selectively removing cells on the surface layer of the cornea. PTK can sometimes be used with photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) treatment to also treat any scarring as well as correcting a refractive error, such as short or longsightedness.

At the London Vision Clinic, we do not primarily provide treatment for RCE. However, if a patient was in the process of being assessed for refractive surgery and showed symptoms of RCE during our rigorous screening process, we would provide the appropriate advice for treating the condition in the best and most appropriate way for you.

To find out more about how Laser Eye Surgery can help people with corneal erosions and find out if you may be a suitable candidate for treatment, drop us a comment below or get in touch with our team.

Corneal Erosion: The Treatment And Symptoms

  1. Keith 24/05/2017 at 16:47

    My son has corneal karetconus. . The doctor here in northernnureland says that His cornea is too far gone and the next step is corneal transplants but they won’t do them as he is only there anything else that can be done to help him ?

    • Bethany Kingsley 31/05/2017 at 14:46

      Hi Keith,
      I would look into seeing someone who specialises in Keratoconus to get another opinion to be sure. Unfortunately, we would be unable to tell you whether there is anything else that can be done without assessing. Please call on 020 7224 1005 if you have any further questions.
      London Vision Clinic

  2. Aleksa 03/03/2020 at 18:33

    I was diagnosed with cornea erosion in September 2019. It was, as the doctor described, a nasty one. Ever since then it came back multiple times, sometimes it went away with eye drops within a day but most of the times (4) chameleon back in a very painful way and didn’t heal for 4 plus days. I could not open my eyes for the first two days . Is this something the laser surgery can fix? It takes me days to heal and it happens every few weeks.

    • Chloe Lay 05/03/2020 at 09:49

      Dear Aleksa,
      Laser eye surgery corrects your need to wear glasses, your refractive error. It does not address other issues with your vision, unfortunately.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  3. Jim 08/03/2020 at 08:09

    I came across your web page while googling LASIK and corneal abrasion. I (foolishly) scratched my cornea while working in the garden 3 weeks ago. Doctor prescribed antibiotics for a week and lubricating drops, which I still take. I am familiar with corneal abrasions from having worn contacts for decades. Unfortunately, the abrasion is “central” over the pupil, and I am still seeing “blurry”, the type of blurred vision that comes with astigmatism. (I was highly myopic and astigmatic, and have had cataract surgery with toric lens). My questions are twofold: 1/ how long might I have to wait to know if the blurriness will disappear or whether this is a permanent condition? 2/ Down the line, is laser surgery (LASIK or LASEK) an option to “treat” the affected cornea and eliminate some or all the blurriness. I guess a 3rd question: How effective is the laser surgery likely to be. (I realize that you may not be able to answer this without a visit). many thanks in advance

    • Chloe Lay 11/03/2020 at 11:41

      Dear Jim,

      We are sorry to hear about your issue with your eye. In answer to your questions, depending on the severity of the abrasion the healing time will vary. We, unfortunately, can’t give advice on your eyes without knowing more and a full examination. The primary aim of Laser Eye Surgery is to achieve vision of the same corrected level as through glasses or contact lenses, correcting your prescription only.
      It sounds like you would really benefit from a chat with one of our Patient Care Coordinators, who you can call on 020 7224 1005.

      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

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