A cloudy cornea is a loss of transparency of the cornea.
Corneal opacification; Corneal edema
The cornea makes up the front wall of the eye. It is normally clear. It helps focus the light entering the eye.
Causes of cloudy cornea include:
- Sensitivity to non-infectious bacteria
- Ulcers on the eye
- River blindness
- Swelling due to glaucoma, birth injury, or Fuchs' dystrophy
- Dryness of the eye due to Sjogren syndrome, vitamin A deficiency, and sometimes after LASIK eye surgery
- Dystrophy (inherited metabolic disease)
- Injruy to the eye, including chemical burns and welding injury
Clouding may affect all or part of the cornea. It lleads to different amounts of vision loss
. You may not have any symptoms in the early stages.
Consult your health care provider. There is no appropriate home care.
Call your health care provider if:
Contact your health care provider if:
- The outer surface of the eye appears cloudy
- You have trouble with your vision
Note: It is appropriate to see an ophthalmologist for vision or eye problems. However, your primary health care provider may also be involved if a whole-body (systemic) disease is suspected.
What to expect at your health care provider's office:
Your doctor or nurse will examine your eyes and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history, such as:
- Did the cornea become cloudy quickly, or did it develop slowly?
- When did you first notice this?
- Does it affect both eyes?
- Is there any history of injury to the eye?
- Do you wear contacts?
- Do you have any trouble with your vision?
- If so, what type (blurring, reduced vision, or other) and how much?
Tests may include:
- Biopsy of lid tissue
- Computer mapping of the cornea (corneal topography)
- Schirmer's test for eye dryness
- Special photographs to measure the cells of the cornea
Standard eye exam
Ultrasound to measure corneal thickness
Abbott RL, Halfpenny CP, Zegans M, Elander TR. Acanthamoeba Keratits. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane’s Ophthalmology. 2012 ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:vol 4;chap 18A.
Yanoff M, Cameron D. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 431.
Sharma R, Brunette DD. Ophthalmology. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 69.
Newlin AC, Wadia H, Sugar J. Corneal and external eye manifestations of systemic disease. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 4.25.
|Review Date: 9/18/2012|
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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