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Recurrent Corneal Erosion

What is Recurrent Corneal Erosion (RCE)?

Recurrent corneal erosion is the recurrent breakdown of the outermost layer (epithelium) of the cornea. In recurrent corneal erosions, the outermost layer of the cornea fails to glue in tightly to its underlying membrane (basement membrane), making it possible for the epithelium to break off too easily with little effort. There are 3 major causes of recurrent corneal erosion, which are:

  • Previous corneal injury (corneal abrasion).
  • Corneal dystrophy (map dot fingerprint dystrophy) – (abnormal structure changes of the cornea).
  • Underlying corneal disease.

What can you do to treat RCE?

Recurrent corneal erosions often occur in patients who experienced a previous corneal abrasion or have an underlying corneal dystrophy. The goal of treatment is to encourage growth of new surface tissue that sticks more tightly to the underlying cornea.

Common treatment includes Muro 128 ointment (hyperosmotic) every night for a month after the initial injury and then as needed if symptoms reoccur.

Recurrent corneal erosions may improve with hyperosmotic ophthalmic drops and ointments, steroid eye drops, and oral antibiotics. If medical treatment fails, a bandage contact lens, corneal scraping, or excimer laser treatment may be indicated.

Contact Office if recurrent corneal erosions continue to occur, often awakening you from sleep, despite treatment.

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