Corneal Dystrophy

Corneal DystrophyCorneal dystrophies are rare, inherited disorders associated with dystrophy microscopic chemical deposits in specific layers of the cornea.

Most dystrophies are inherited as autosomal dominant traits. This means that one would expect to find half the family members of a patient to be similarly affected. Because corneal dystrophies present with wide variations in severity, it is not unusual for a patient’s family ocular history to be unremarkable. In many such cases, silent, asymptomatic findings of the dystrophy will be seen in other family members when a thorough ophthalmologic examination is performed.

Dystrophies are often subtle, having minimal or no effect on vision. These dystrophies require no specific treatment. In other cases, irregularity of the corneal surface or repeated surface breakdown may lead to blurred or distorted vision and pain. While drops and ointments may reduce these symptoms, the surface changes sometimes need to be scraped or peeled away. Some of the more severe dystrophies cause clouding of the cornea with considerable loss of vision and require corneal transplantation to restore vision to a normal level.

The following is a partial list of corneal dystrophies that we see as corneal specialists:

  • Anterior basement membrane dystrophy (Map-Dot-Fingerprint dystrophy)
  • Reis-Bucklers’ dystrophy
  • Granular dystrophy
  • Lattice dystrophy
  • Macular dystrophy
  • Snyder’s crystalline dystrophy
  • Fleck dystrophy
  • Posterior polymorphous dystrophy
  • Fuchs’ or Endothelial dystrophy


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