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CORNEA & EXTERNAL DISEASE

The cornea can be affected by a wide range of conditions including:

  • Dry eye
  • Infections such as cornea ulcers caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa
  • Allergic and atopic conditions
  • Auto-immune conditions
  • Hereditary conditions and dystrophies such as Fuchs' dystrophy, epithelial basement membrane dystrophies, map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, stromal cornea dystrophies, lattice corneal dystrophy, granular corneal dystrophy, congenital stromal corneal dystrophy, posterior corneal dystrophies, posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy, and congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy, for example
  • Herpes zoster (shingles) and herpes simplex infections
  • Iridocorneal endothelial syndromes (ICE syndromes)
  • Keratoconus
  • Growths and tumors including ptyergia and nodules.
  • Scarring following trauma and complications from prior eye surgery

External disease conditions encountered include:

  • Blepharitis, including difficult to treat conditions such
  • Ocular pemphigoid
  • Limbal stem cell deficiency
  • Trichiasis
  • Atopic conjunctivitis
  • These conditions can cause significant symptoms of ocular irritation and pain, and can lead to significant vision loss. While all of the ophthalmologists of Carolina Eye Care, can diagnose and treat these conditions, consultation and referral to the Cornea and External Disease specialist may be necessary to help manage difficult or complex cases.

There are a wide variety of medical treatments for cornea and external disease conditions, ranging from over the counter artificial tears of different types to prescription medications to specially formulated eye drops made only by compounding pharmacies. Other non-surgical treatments include Lipiflow, amniotic membrane; bandage contact lenses to protect the cornea and punctal plugs for dry eye.

Lipiflow is offered by Carolina Eye Care to treat Meibomian gland dysfunction. Meibomian glands produce oil (lipid) that aids in preventing loss of the tears from the eye surface. MGD occurs when the normal function of the meibomian glands in the eyelids becomes compromised because of gland blockages that occur over time, resulting in inadequate oil production into the tears. So, the core therapy for MGD is to directly treat the gland blockages. The only electronic FDA-cleared treatment for MGD is LipiFlow, which uses a precise application of heat to the inside of the eyelids, close to the location of the meibomian glands, and massage to outside of the eyelids.

The Cornea specialist of Carolina Eyecare is trained in advanced surgical management of corneal conditions such as penetrating and lamellar keratoplasty (corneal transplant), DMEK and DSEK procedures, and anterior segment reconstruction procedures. In some cases corneal, scleral, or conjunctival biopsy might be necessary for diagnostic purposes.

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