Definition

Corneal opacity is a disorder of the cornea that occur due to scarring or clouding of the normally clear and transparent cornea. It means loss of normal transparency of cornea. Corneal clouding stops the light from passing through the cornea to the retina and therefore results in decreased vision.

Corneal opacity can be a complication or result of other eye problem. There are so many eye disorders which can lead to clouding of cornea if not treated properly or become severe.

Causes of Corneal Opacity

Cornea can loss its transparency due to various reasons and it majorly occurs due to some disorders of eye that eventually leads to corneal opacity. The causes of corneal opacity include the following:

  • Infection of the cornea or other adjoining parts
    • Conjunctivitis
    • Keratitis
    • Herpes simplex virus
    • Measles
    • Contact lens-related infection
  • Injury to the eye
    • From force, such as a poke in the eye
    • From a chemical agent
    • From some object like sand or dust
    • Something striking the eye, such as a tree branch
    • Radiation injury from the sun, sun lamps, welding, or sun reflected on snow
  • Certain eye diseases
    • Irido-corneal endothelial syndrome
    • Pterygium
    • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
    • Corneal dystrophy
  • Inflammation
  • Healed corneal wounds or ulcers
  • Wearing contact lenses for a long period of time
  • Congenital opacities may occur as developmental anomalies

Risk Factors of Corneal Opacity

Although there are so many reasons or eye disorders that can lead to corneal opacity but still some risk factors increases the chances of development of corneal opacity.

  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Foreign bodies striking the eye
  • Keratoconus
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Congenital corneal abnormalities

Corneal Opacity Symptoms

When cornea becomes opaque, it causes varied symptoms in the eye that are very uncomfortable including:

  • Near sightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Swelling of the eye
  • Excessive tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye irritation
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensation of something in the eye
  • Eye discharge
  • Milky or cloudy or incompletely transparent area on the cornea
  • Vision decrease or loss

Diagnosis of Corneal opacity

Diagnosis of corneal opacity requires complete medical history and a thorough eye examination by an ophthalmologist.

Treatment of Corneal opacity

Treatment typically depends upon the cause and severity of the opacity and may include any of the following:

  • Patching the eye
  • Using a temporary or special contact lens or Cosmetic coloured contact lens
  • Antibiotic, antibacterial, antifungal, or steroidal eye drops or ointments
  • Topical or oral antiviral medication
  • Phototherapeutic keratectomy (laser surgery)
  • Optical iridectomy
  • Keratoplasty
  • Intacs implants
  • Cornea transplant
  • Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK)