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Recurrent Corneal Erosion
Recurrent corneal erosion is a condition affecting the outermost layer of corneal cells called the epithelium. The problem is caused when the bottom layer of epithelial cells adhere poorly to the cornea, causing them to slough off easily. The pain and discomfort is often quite intense, and similar to a corneal abrasion. There is usually an underlying disorder that causes recurrent corneal erosions to occur. The most common are: previous corneal injury (corneal abrasion), corneal dystrophy (Map Dot Fingerprint Dystrophy), or corneal disease resulting in recurrent breakdown of the epithelial cells.

Upon awakening, patients often experience severe pain, blurred vision, and light sensitivity when the eyelid pulls the loosened epithelial cells off the cornea. After the cornea heals, the problem recurs as the name implies unless the condition is treated. Recurrent corneal erosion may affect one or both eyes, depending on the underlying cause.

Signs and Symptoms

• Severe pain (especially after awakening)
• Blurred vision
• Foreign body sensation
• Dryness and irritation
• Tearing
• Red eye
• Light sensitivity

DIAGNOSIS AND DETECTION
Using a slit lamp microscope, the doctor examines the corneal layers under high magnification. Eye drops containing green dye called fluorescein are usually instilled to stain the areas of missing epithelium, allowing the doctor to evaluate the size and depth of the erosion.


TREATMENT
Salt solution drops or ointment are usually prescribed as the first line of treatment. This medication helps the epithelium to adhere better to Bowman's layer of the cornea. Artificial tears are also recommended to keep the cornea moist.

Those with underlying corneal dystrophy may require additional treatment. This usually includes an in-office procedure where the epithelium is either gently removed, or microscopic "spot welds" are made on the cornea to encourage the epithelial to bond securely to Bowman's layer underneath.

Patients who continue to suffer from recurrent corneal erosions despite the treatments described, may benefit from phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK). This involves removal of the superficial layer of corneal cells using the Excimer laser to encourage proper healing.

The McMann Eye Institute is a comprehensive ophthalmology practice
offering a full spectrum of vision correction and treatment services.

McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii


McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii    McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii  
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The McMann Eye Institute understands how important your vision is to your life. Whether restoring, preserving, or improving sight, our eye doctors are dedicated to optimizing your vision so you can live your best. With doctors that specialize in LASIK, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye care, and cornea surgical treatments, we offer our patients an extensive range of eye care services on the island of O’ahu, Honolulu, Hawaii.

In addition to performing these life changing procedures, we can also help you with simple vision problems and provide preventative vision care for you and your family. Trusted by both patients and doctors, our excellent reputation speaks for itself as we strive to provide the highest quality care in a professional and compassionate environment.

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McMann Eye Institute The Queen’s Medical Center
West O’ahu
91-2139 Ft. Weaver Rd. Suite 202
Ewa Beach, HI 96706
Phone: (808) 677-2733

McMann Eye Institute proudly serves Ewa Beach, HI and the Oahu areas of Honolulu, Waipahu, Aiea, Wahiawa, Kaneohe, Maunawili, Kahaluu, Kapolei, Iroquois Point and the remaining Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Rim.

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Michael A. McMann, MD