What Is Corneal Edema? Will It Go Away On Its Own?
Corneal edema is swelling of the cornea and can occur for a variety of reasons. Cataract surgery is a common
cause of corneal edema that can cause blurred vision which typically clears up on its own after a few days to
weeks. A hereditary condition known as Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy causes the endothelial cells in the cornea to be
damaged. These cells are responsible for pumping fluid out of the cornea and keeping the cornea clear.
Treatment for the above two conditions is not always necessary but can involve using hypertonic saline drops or
ointment to decrease the swelling in the cornea.
If eye pressure builds up due to glaucoma this can cause corneal edema. In this situation the intraocular
pressure needs to be lowered to help clear the cornea.
If inflammation is causing corneal edema then the inflammatory condition needs to be treated, typically with
steroid eye drops.
For patients who do not respond to medical treatment and have significant corneal edema, there is a procedure
called DSAEK or Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty that can be performed.
This is a partial corneal transplant where only the damaged inner layer of the cornea is replaced.