What Is Corneal Dystrophy?

Corneal dystrophy is the general term used to describe as many as 15 different conditions in which clouding and swelling of the cornea—the clear, protective outer layer of the eye—creates glare, blurry vision and discomfort.

Some dystrophies are present at birth; others develop slowly over time. In some patients, the corneal dystrophy is mild and requires no special treatment. In others, the visual impairment continues to worsen until surgery is required to restore eyesight.

Corneal dystrophy runs in families and generally affects both eyes. It is more likely to affect women and people over age 50.