Corneal edema is a swelling of the cornea, the clear dome at the front of the eye. The cornea works with the lens to refract light and help the eye to focus. When the cornea swells, it is often because of a problem with the endothelial layer of the cornea. The endothelial layer makes up the inner layer of the cornea and consists of a network of cells, endothelium. The endothelium pumps fluid in and out of the cornea to keep it dry and maintain its clarity. These cells can be damaged by both trauma and disease. Once these cells are damaged, they cannot repair or replace themselves. The cells are not able to function as well, and the cornea begins to swell with fluid (corneal edema). This causes clouding of the cornea and blurry vision.
At The Cornea and Laser Vision Institute, our doctors can diagnose corneal edema with a detailed but painless eye examination.