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.
The following factors increase your chance of developing corneal opacity:
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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:
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 developing corneal opacity, take the following steps:
American Academy of Ophthalmology
National Eye Institute
Canadian Association of Optometrists
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
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Last reviewed August 2013 by Eric L. Berman, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 5/11/2013