Donate to Corneal Dystrophy Research, Patient Care and Education

When foreign matter accumulates on the outer surface of the eye, corneal dystrophy can occur. Often inherited, corneal dystrophy can affect both eyes. The result of corneal dystrophy is cloudy, blurry vision and pain in the eyes.  There are over twenty different types of corneal dystrophy – all of which are inherited.

The outer layer of the eye protects the eyeball, and debris in this layer can affect vision. Women are more susceptible to corneal dystrophy than men, and more often than not symptoms will begin to manifest around the age of 50. Those in good health can still be affected by corneal dystrophy. Thanks to your generous donations, board-certified specialists at Northwestern Medicine continue to advance research and clinical trials designed to offer diagnosis and treatment options for those affected with corneal dystrophy.

Symptoms of corneal dystrophy can include:

  • Discomfort or severe pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • The sensation of a foreign object in the eye
  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Minor blisters on the surface of the cornea

While each of these symptoms alone does not necessarily constitute corneal dystrophy, their onset warrants a full examination by an ophthalmologist and cornea specialist. While the vast majority of corneal dystrophy patients have inherited the condition, protein and fatty deposit buildup in the cornea, as well as faulty tear ducts, could leave excess fluid on the cornea.

Specialists at Northwestern Medicine are able to diagnose corneal dystrophy using a host of tests. The first step in diagnosis is a full personal health history and family health history intake. These tests include tonometry, corneal cell count as well as pachymetry and visual acuity tests. Then, the condition of the cornea is examined for swelling, hardening and balance of eye pressure. Specialists design treatment programs for corneal dystrophy based on the severity of the corneal atrophy and discomfort of the symptoms. Treatment options for mild symptoms include eye drops, ointments and lasers. More severe cases of corneal dystrophy may require corneal transplants or surgery on the existing cornea to remove any debris, lesions or abnormalities.

Corneal Dystrophy Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Consider making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation to advance clinical trials and research designed to offer additional treatment options for those suffering from corneal dystrophy.

Donate Now