A cloudy cornea is a loss of transparency of the cornea.
The cornea is normally a nearly invisible, clear structure covering the iris of the eye. Its two purposes are to transmit and focus the light entering the eye.
Causes of cloudy cornea include:
- Chemical burns to the cornea
- Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis (a form of conjunctivitis caused by herpes simplex)
- Infectious diseases
- Poor nutrition
- River blindness (onchocerciasis -- an infection common in parts of Africa)
- Several rare inherited diseases involving abnormal metabolism
Vitamin A deficiency
Clouding leads to varying degrees of vision loss.
Consult your health care provider. There is no appropriate home care.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Contact your health care provider if:
- The outer surface of the eye appears cloudy
- You have trouble with your vision
Note: It is appropriate to see an ophthalmologist for vision or eye problems. However, your primary health care provider may also be involved if a whole-body (systemic) disease is suspected.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The doctor will take a medical history and examine your eyes.
Medical history questions may include:
- Did the cornea become cloudy quickly, or did it develop slowly?
- When did you first notice this?
- Does it affect both eyes?
- Is there any history of injury to the eye?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- Do you have any trouble with your vision?
- If so, what type (blurring, reduced vision, or other) and how much?
Physical examination will include a thorough check of your eyes and vision.
Diagnostic tests may include:
- Biopsy of lid tissue
- Special photographs to measure the cells of the cornea
Standard eye exam
- Tests for suspected causes
Ultrasound to measure corneal thickness
After seeing your health care provider:
You may want to add a diagnosis related to cloudy cornea to your personal medical record.
Corneal opacification; Corneal edema