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What You Should Know About Corneal Disease

The cornea, the eye’s transparent cover, refracts light, which enables the eye to see clearly. A healthy cornea is vital to good eyesight, so damage to the cornea can cause pain, sensitivity to light, blurriness, inflammation, headaches, and vision loss.

Conditions and diseases harmful to the cornea include:

  • Injuries and trauma
  • Keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea resulting from an injury, bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. (One form, neurotrophic keratitis, is a rare degenerative disease characterized by corneal numbness, thinning, ulceration, and perforation.)
  • Dry eye, resulting from the eyes not producing enough tears or tears of subpar quality
  • Shingles, herpes, and other viruses
  • Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome, causing corneal swelling, glaucoma, and changes in the iris
  • Pterygium, a growth of tissue on the cornea
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (erythema multiforme major), a serious skin disorder that also causes conjunctivitis, corneal blisters and erosions, holes in the cornea, and painful blisters on the eyelids
  • Corneal dystrophies (such as keratoconus, lattice corneal dystrophy, map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, and Fuchs’ dystrophy), which cause parts of the cornea to become cloudy starting in childhood
  • Allergies and minor scratches

Lowering Risks to the Cornea

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute, you can lower the risk of corneal injuries by wearing protective eyewear while playing sports, doing yard work, working on home repairs, using machines, and handling chemicals. You can prevent keratitis and other corneal infections by properly cleaning, disinfecting, and storing your contact lenses.

Diagnosing Corneal Damage When It Does Occur

If you suspect you have sustained corneal damage of any kind, contact Our doctors to examine for corneal abrasions and corneal diseases. This is important because many eye diseases have no early symptoms or warning signs. Indeed, getting a dilated eye exam is important even if your eyes seem healthy.

Treating Corneal Diseases

Treatment options depend on the medical condition. They include:

  • Eye drops and ointments
  • Cenegermin, a medication for treating neurotrophic keratitis
  • Oral antiviral medications
  • Laser surgery to treat corneal erosions and dystrophies by reshaping and restoring the cornea
  • Partial corneal transplant, in which one or two layers of the cornea are removed or are replaced by a layer from a donor
  • Corneal transplant for some patients with keratoconus, severe corneal scarring, certain corneal dystrophies, edema after cataract surgery, and any failure of the cornea after eye surgery
  • Artificial cornea for those who cannot undergo a corneal transplant

One of the most common ways to treat corneal problems is with scleral contact lenses, which vault over the cornea and rest upon the sclera, the eye’s white surface. These customized lenses can help patients with corneal abrasions, diseases, and injuries by protecting the cornea’s surface and keeping the cornea hydrated. Scleral lenses also allow the cornea to recover from a corneal transplant, and are the preferred treatment for keratoconus, severe dry eye, and other conditions.

At The Specialty Contact Lens Center At Eye Trends, Our doctors diagnose corneal conditions and prescribe scleral lenses and other treatments for patients in Houston, Spring, Woodlands, Conroe, and throughout Texas.

 

References:

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Conroe 936-206-7366
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Dr. Inns is a 1982 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilfred Laurier University, Canada. During his training at the University of Houston, he held positions in research and was a teaching assistant / laboratory instructor.

Postgraduate work includes therapeutic courses at Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the Optometric Glaucoma Specialist Course at the University of Texas Medical School. Dr. Inns has published in Optometry Today and Optometric Management. He also volunteers at the schools in his area.

Dr. Inns and his wife, Lynn, spend much of their spare time calling and visiting with their four boys.

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Amber Draper, Manager

As the manager of The Woodlands office, Amber Draper leads the team with the focus on patient care and assisting with their ophthalmic needs. Having over 10 years experience, Amber can aid patients with the most appropriate lens technology to match their daily needs. Everyone needs at least one pair of sun wear, especially here in Texas.

Amber is a proud graduate of Sam Houston State University with a BA in History, and a minor in Spanish.

In her spare time, she is with family, friends, and enjoying some Houston Texans Football.

Dr. Toups is a 1984 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Northeast Louisiana University.

Being a therapeutically licensed optometrist, Dr. Toups is trained to diagnose and treat ocular conditions. He specializes in contact lenses and he is current with all refractive surgery procedures.

Dr. Toups is married, has five children and has lived in the Houston area since 1980.

Request an Appointments One of Our 7 Convenient Locations!


Conroe Appt.     >

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Greenspoint Appt.     >
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Kingwood Appt.     >
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The Woodlands Appt.     >
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