Causes And Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Corneal Dystrophy

The causes of corneal dystrophy are as varied as the dystrophies themselves. Some causes include: 

  • Faulty endothelial cells, the corneal cells that keep your eyes lubricated. Excess fluids build up in your cornea, causing swelling, thickening of the cornea and blurry vision. 
  • Fatty deposits or cholesterol built up in the cornea
  • Protein deposits in the cornea
  • Gene mutation

Many corneal dystrophies are inherited conditions. If someone in your family has it, you have a greater chance of developing it to some degree. 

Diagnosing corneal dystrophy

During your eye exam, your physician will use a number of instruments to look for signs of corneal dystrophy, including: 

  • Swelling of the cornea
  • A hazy, rather than a clear, cornea
  • Bumps on the back surface of the cornea
  • Corneal thickening
  • High pressure in the eye

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Visual acuity test: This common eye chart test measures vision ability at various distances using a series of lenses.
  • Tonometry: This standard test determines the intraocular pressure (IOP) inside the eye.
  • Pachymetry: This test measures the thickness of your cornea using an ultrasonic wave instrument.
  • Corneal cell count: This test counts the shape, size and number of the cells in the back of your cornea.