Corneal opacity is a disorder of the cornea. The cornea is the transparent structure on the front of the eyeball. Corneal opacity occurs when the cornea becomes scarred. This stops light from passing through the cornea to the retina and may cause the cornea to appear white or clouded over.
Infection, injury, or swelling of the eye are the most common causes of corneal opacity.
Factors that may increase your chance of corneal opacity:
- Foreign bodies striking the eye
- Eye injury, whether from a force, such as a poke in the eye, or from a chemical agent
- Wearing contact lenses for a long period of time, especially overnight, can increase the risk of eye infections and also the chance of developing corneal opacity.
- Herpes simplex virus—which can be transmitted to the eyes
- Measles—when measles results in scarring/infection of the eye
- Other infections, including conjunctivitis
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Congenital corneal abnormalities
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Corneal opacity may cause:
- Vision decrease or loss
- Pain in the eye or feeling like there is something in your eye
- Eye redness, excessive tearing, or light sensitivity
- Area on the eye that appears cloudy, milky, or is not completely transparent
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
To prepare for a complete eye exam, your doctor may put drops in your eyes to numb them and to dilate your pupils. Your doctor will use a specialized microscope to focus a high powered beam of light into your eye to examine the cornea and other structures in your eye.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatments vary depending on the most likely cause of the scarring and how severe the scarring is. Treatments may include:
- Eye drops containing antibiotics, steroids, or both
- Oral medications
In some cases, scar tissue may be removed surgically. The surgery may be performed using a laser, called phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK), if the scarring is close to the corneal surface. In more severe cases, a cornea transplant may be necessary.
To help reduce your chance of corneal opacity:
- Take care to avoid injuring the eye. Wear eye protection during any potentially dangerous activity. Make sure safety goggles are worn tight against the face, otherwise a foreign body can fly up under the goggles and injure the eye.
- Take proper care of contact lenses. Follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding wear and cleaning them.
- Keep your eyes from drying out by using saline eye drops.
- See your doctor right away if you think you have an eye infection, if you injured your eye, or if you develop any pain or change in vision.
- Michael Woods, MD
- Reviewed: 11/2015
- Updated: 12/20/2014
Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Allegiance Health or performed by Allegiance Health physicians.
All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.