Recurrent corneal erosion is an injury caused to the cornea of the eyes. In the absence of timely diagnosis and treatment, this eye disorder can have serious effects in terms of partial or total blindness…
The eyes are the most sensitive organs in the human body. These are the sense organs that allow vision. The cone and rod cells that are present in the retina of the eyes allows the perception of light and vision. The human eye can differentiate around 10 million colors. The parts of the human eye consist of the lens, the cornea, pupil, iris, retina, macula, sclera, conjunctiva, the tear film and the vitreous.
The cornea is an important part of the eye which protects the iris and the pupil. The cornea protects the eyes from various foreign objects like germs, dirt and filters ultraviolet rays from the sun. Utmost care is to be taken while protecting the parts of the eyes as they are prone to many problems. One such eye infection is the recurrent corneal erosion.
Recurrent Corneal Erosion (RCE) is a disorder of the eye which is caused due to the loss of epithelial cells in the cornea. The epithelial cells that are present in the cornea fail to attach themselves properly to the Bowman’s layer, which is the basement membrane. These epithelial cells are easily pulled away from the basement membrane even if there is a slight movement of the eyelid over the eye.
This condition is extremely painful as the sensitive area of the cornea is exposed to foreign bodies and infections. It is more often seen in women than in men and it often affects people who are more than forty years of age. People often tend to overlook it as some ordinary problem unless they experience persistent pain and irritation in the eyes.
Some eye problems often tend to be ignored as just a minor condition. This ignorance can lead to several serious problems like corneal erosion.
- Abnormal changes in the structure of the cornea known as corneal dystrophy
- Any undiagnosed, underlying diseases of the cornea
- Corneal abrasion or scratchy eyes (an injury to the cornea of the eyes)
This eye problem can be characterized by the occurrence of the following symptoms. These symptoms are usually noticed in the morning when the person wakes up from sleep and opens his eyes:
- The feeling of the presence of a foreign body in the eye
- Blurred vision
- Irritation of the eyeball followed by pain
- Dry eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Over production of tears leading to watery eyes
- Discomfort and pain in the eyes caused due to exposure to bright light
- Eyes appear red and blood vessels become visible
- Spasms in the eye muscles that results in squinting.
To prevent the occurrence of any eye disorders, proper eye care must be practiced. Don’t avoid any of the symptoms of an eye disease as it may even lead to total blindness. Noticing symptoms like pain, watery eyes and irritation must be brought to the immediate notice of the doctor or ophthalmologist, who may diagnose the condition with the help of an ophthalmoscope, which is an instrument used to examine the interior of the eyes and detect the presence of any diseases.
If you are suffering from persistent corneal erosion, and experience pain even after practicing self care of the eyes like washing the eyes frequently and avoiding any other factors that may affect the eye, then you may have to undergo the following treatments:
- Eye Drops: The doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops that should be used after every two hours to ease the pain. There are also certain steroidal medications to relieve the inflammation caused due to this condition.
- Vaccination: If the injury is caused due to the presence of a foreign body like a metal piece in the eye, then the doctor may administer a tetanus vaccination to prevent further damage to the tissues.
- Eye Patches or Pressure Dressing: If the wound has spread to the interior of the cornea, using an eye patch along with the eye drops can be beneficial.
- Laser Treatment: In severe cases of corneal erosion syndrome, the individual may have to undergo surgery to treat the disorder and prevent the formation of scar tissue which may lead to impairment of vision.
The healing time may depend on the intensity of the infection and the patient’s response to treatment. If you notice any of the above symptoms that may indicate recurrent corneal erosion, consult your ophthalmologist as soon as possible to stop any possible complications.