Since the cornea functions both to direct light into the eye and to protect more delicate tissues underneath, it’s resilient and can heal from many minor injuries on its own without lasting damage. However, larger injuries can create scarring that affects vision and creates discomfort.
If you think you may have a scar on your cornea that is affecting your vision or daily routine, a comprehensive eye exam is the best way to confirm a diagnosis and develop a plan for treatment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Corneal Scars?
Corneal scars may be barely noticeable or may cause significant pain, depending on their severity and location. Symptoms may include:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Sensitivity to light
- A scratching sensation that feels like something is in your eye
What Causes Corneal Scars?
There are a number of causes for corneal scars. These include:
- Infections such as shingles, syphilis, bacteria, or the cold sore virus
- Improper use of contact lenses
- Corneal dystrophies
Scar tissue may even cause new blood vessels to develop in the cornea, blocking vision.
What Are The Treatments For Corneal Trauma?
Depending on the severity of the scarring, several treatment options may be considered.
In some cases, a hard contact lens (scleral lens) can provide excellent vision despite even being in the presence of a corneal scar.
Laser surgery may be used to reshape and smooth the cornea. In extreme cases, a cornea transplant (penetrating keratoplasty) may be required to repair the eye. This uses donor tissue from an eye bank to replace the damaged cornea.
The healing time for treatments may be a few days to several weeks or months, depending on the scale of the treatment. During this time, you may have to wear a bandage contact lens, use prescription eye drops or ointments, or take pain medications for a brief time. After some treatments, corrective lenses may be needed to restore clear vision.
Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun has cornea specialists and surgeons on staff and can implement the treatments necessary to manage corneal scars. Schedule an appointment today by calling (865) 584-0905.