DISEASES OF THE CORNEA
Conjunctivitis, Scleritis & Keratitis
Conjunctivitis and scleritis are both diseases that cause inflammation of the sclera, while keratitis causes inflammation of the cornea. The inflammation can be caused by multiple factors, such as infections and allergies, to contact lenses and eye drops, the effects of these diseases can cause severe vision loss and may even result in a need for surgery.
The conjunctiva is the clear mucous membrane that makes up the whites of the eyes. In cases of pterygium, also known as “Surfer’s Eye”, the conjunctiva begins to grow over the cornea, usually from the nasal side of the eye. It is believed that prolonged exposure to sunlight, dry conditions, and dust can contribute to the development of pterygium, so the use of protective sunglasses and artificial tears have proven to be an effective means of prevention. If you feel that you may be suffering from the symptoms of “Surfer’s Eye”, be sure to contact the experts at Newsom Eye for an examination and stop the ill effects of pterygium before your vision becomes permanently damaged.
Blepharitis is a condition which affects the eyelids, causing them to become red, inflamed, and flaky. Cases are often chronic, resulting in cysts on the lid, a gritty or foreign body sensation in the eye, debris in the tear film, as well as reduced vision. Blepharitis can affect both the inner and outer portions of the eyelid.
The single most important principle for treating blepharitis is the adherence to a daily lid margin hygiene routine. Blepharitis is most common in those who have a rosacea type skin disorder. The oil glands in their eyelids secrete a modified oil which leads to the inflammation of the lids’ gland opening. Although it can be chronic and acute, one episode blepharitis does not mean that it is a life-long condition. Symptoms that do not improve, even with improved hygiene and proper cleaning, should be reported to your Newsom Eye doctor.
Herpes & Shingles in the Eye
Herpes zoster, more commonly known as “Shingles,” is a viral disease which is characterized by a painful skin rash resulting in severe blisters and scabbing. When Shingles attack the nerves surrounding the eye, it can result in a wide range of complications and degenerative eye conditions, including corneal ulcers, glaucoma, and even blindness. Cases of zoster in the eye should be treated early and aggressively. Ask the doctors at Newsom Eye if you may be at risk.
Most eye infections affecting the cornea can be easily detected and remedied. But it is important to call Newsom Eye and schedule your routine eye exam today. Our staff will thoroughly check your eyes for possible corneal diseases and infections.
Corneal Abrasions & Erosions
Corneal abrasions and erosion occur when a portion of the surface layer of the cornea is lost. Damage to this surface layer, including from a finger or contact lens, can cause pain, watery eyes, squinting, and the sensation of a foreign body in the eye. The doctors at Newsom Eye have experience treating any damage caused by corneal abrasions or erosion.
Also known as ulcerative keratitis or “eyesores”, corneal ulcers are very painful infections which attack the epithelial layer of the eye. If the ulcers are not treated in time, they can rapidly progress to corneal perforation which can result in blindness. At Newsom Eye, we take your corneal health seriously. Contact us for an exam today.