Common Types of Corneal Diseases

The cornea of your eye is integral to your ability to see. While the cornea of the eye appears fragile and easily damaged, you will be surprised to learn it is just as strong and stiff as a fingernail. 

Unfortunately, many diseases can impact the health of the cornea. To protect the health of your eyes, you need to learn about these conditions and see Elite Vision Centers if symptoms develop. 

Understanding Corneal Disease

Corneal disease is a broad term that umbrellas multiple degenerations, infections, and disorders. Although the cornea can often heal itself after minor injuries and infection, serious disorders require immediate and sometimes ongoing care. 

What Are the Common Corneal Disease Symptoms?

Corneal diseases sometimes do not cause any outward signs until major damage begins to occur. The following are some of the common symptoms you may develop with corneal disease. 

  • Soreness or pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Severe sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Scarring of the cornea

If you notice any of the above symptoms, do not delay scheduling an appointment with your ophthalmologist. Prompt treatment is essential for all types of cornea conditions. 

Common Types of Corneal Diseases

Understanding the types of corneal diseases will help you protect the health of your eyes. The following offers information on these diseases. 


Keratitis is an inflammatory condition that occurs after an eye infection. Rarely, this disease may occur as a result of wearing contact lenses. Keratitis is treated with antifungals or antibiotics. The following are some of the symptoms of keratitis. 

  • Increasing pain
  • Discharge coming from the cornea
  • Reduction in visual clarity
  • Increased light sensitivity

Ocular Herpes

Ocular herpes, or herpes of the eye, is a reoccurring condition. This infection causes sores to develop on the surface of the cornea which eventually results in scarring. While there is no cure for this disease, it can remain under control with antivirals. 

Shingles of the Eye

Shingles is a viral condition that affects people who have had the chickenpox virus. After an outbreak, the virus remains dormant in the nerve tissue. The virus sometimes reactivates and can travel down the nerve pathways and cause blistering lesions. 

When the cornea becomes blistered, severe scarring may occur. If shingles break out near the eye, individuals need to see an eye doctor as soon as possible to reduce the severity and protect against corneal damage.

Corneal Dystrophies

Corneal dystrophies are diseases that affect the structure of the cornea. Medical scientists have identified twenty types of corneal dystrophy conditions. The following are some of the more common types of corneal dystrophy

  • Keratoconus
  • Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy
  • Fuch’s dystrophy
  • Lattice dystrophy

How Is Corneal Disease Diagnosed?

An ophthalmologist will perform a thorough examination of the eye to determine if corneal disease is present. There are multiple tests that check the cornea, including corneal topography. 

Corneal topography measures and maps the cornea to determine its shape and ensure it is normal. This test is painless and is often used to check for Keratoconus. Slit-lamp exams are also beneficial. 

For many corneal diseases, the doctor will simply need to view the cornea through a slit lamp that illuminates the front of the eye. With a light on the cornea, the doctor can check for scarring, lesions, and other signs of disease. 

Corneal Disease Can Often Be Prevented

While not all corneal conditions can be prevented, many can. Protecting your eyes from injuries and infection is integral. 

Corneal eye conditions cause damage to the cornea and can lead to visual disturbances and pain. Common types of corneal diseases include shingles, keratitis, and dystrophy. 

If you notice any of the symptoms of corneal disease, see your eye doctor right away for treatment. Prompt treatment is the best way to prevent permanent damage to the cornea or other structures of the eye.