The cornea is a transparent and almost-invisible part of the eye that covers the iris. It has two main functions which are, to transmit and focus the light that enters the eye.
When the cornea is damaged because of a disease, an infection, or an injury, resulting damage can interfere with eye vision by blocking or distorting the light that enters the eyes.
In a cloudy cornea, the cornea losses its transparency, thereby, becoming opaque. This condition is also known ascorneal opacification or corneal edema.
Cloudy Cornea Causes
Some of the major causes of a cloudy cornea are any of the following:
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Chemical burns to the cornea
- Poor Nutrition
- Infectious diseases
- Herpetic conjunctivitis (triggered by herpes simplex).
- Atypical inherited diseases involving abnormal metabolism.
- Siogren syndrome (an immunologic disorder).
- Trachoma (a bacterial infection of the eye).
- River blindness or onchocerciasis. This is a parasitic disease caused by a roundworm. (Majority of the infections occur in some parts of Africa).
Cloudy Cornea Treatment
Generally, a cornea heals in itself after being damaged or injured. However, in some cases, the healing process may take a longer time and individuals may experience eye pain and redness, blurred vision, photophobia, and excessive tearing.
A few of these corneal symptoms are fairly common since the corneal function of protection is compromised. However, if any of these symptoms persist, this could signify a serious eye problem. In such case, seeing a health care provider or an ophthalmologist will help determine if the patient will need any special treatment.
Treatment for cloudy cornea may include the following:
- Corneal laser eye surgery
- Corneal transplant
Commonly Asked Questions when Examining a Cloudy Cornea
During an appointment with a healthcare provider, certain questions about an individual’s medical history will be asked upon examination of the eyes. These questions may include:
- Has the patient noticed if the cornea became cloudy all of a sudden or did it develop gradually?
- When did the patient first notice that he or she has a cloudy cornea?
- Are both eyes of the patient affected?
- Does the patient have any history of eye injury?
- Does the patient have trouble with his or her vision? If there is, what type and to what extent? (ie. Reduced vision, blurring, etc.)
NOTE: It is very important to see an ophthalmologist if one suffers from an eye problem. It is also important to be involved with a primary health care provider if what’s causing the cloudy cornea involves a systemic disease or is also harming the body as a whole.