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The term "corneal disease" refers to a variety of conditions that affect mainly the cornea. These include infections, degenerations, and many other disorders that may arise mostly as a result of heredity.

What conditions can damage the cornea?

This is an inflammation of the cornea that sometimes occurs with infection after bacteria or fungi enter the cornea. These microorganisms can enter the eye after deep injury, causing infection, inflammation, and ulceration of the cornea. 

Ocular herpes (herpes of the eye)
This is a viral infection of the eye that may reoccur. The main cause of ocular herpes is the herpes simplex virus I (HSV I). This is the same virus that causes cold sores, but ocular herpes can also result from the sexually transmitted herpes simplex II virus (HSV II) that causes genital herpes.

Herpes zoster (shingles)
Herpes zoster can cause blisters or lesions on the cornea, fever, and pain from nerve fibers. Corneal lesions usually heal by themselves, but antiviral treatment may reduce the inflammation.

Corneal dystrophies
There are more than 20 corneal dystrophies, diseases that cause structural problems with the cornea. 

Keratoconus is a progressive disease in which the cornea thins and changes shape. Keratoconus changes the curvature of the cornea, creating either mild or severe distortion, called astigmatism, and usually nearsightedness. Keratoconus may also cause swelling and scarring of the cornea and vision loss.

Map-Dot-Fingerprint dystrophy
Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy is the abnormal appearance of the basement membrane of the epithelium of the cornea. As this membrane that separates the epithelium and stroma grows irregularly (thicker in some places, thinner in others), findings that resemble maps, dots, and small fingerprints appear in the cornea.

Fuch’s dystrophy
Fuch’s dystrophy is the gradual deterioration of endothelial cells for no apparent reason. As these cells thin over time, the cornea is less capable of removing water form the stroma, causing it to swell and distort vision. Haze and small blisters on the corneal surface may also appear.

Lattice dystrophy
Lattice dystrophy is characterized by the presence of abnormal protein fibers throughout the stroma. Although this condition can occur at any age, early changes can be seen in childhood.


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