Corneal Swelling or Edema


The cornea is the dome-shaped, clear structure at the surface of the eye. The cornea helps to focus light onto the retina to give clear vision. If the cornea becomes swollen or cloudy, vision becomes impaired. The causes of corneal swelling include:

  • Corneal dystrophies (Fuch’s dystrophy)
  • Injury
  • Surgical damage (cataract surgery, other intra-ocular surgery)
  • Sudden increase in intra-ocular pressure (acute glaucoma)

Some corneal edema can be treated medically. If the eye pressure is high, it can be lowered. Corneal swelling resulting from surgical damage may improve over time. If the swelling is limited to the surface epithelium, concentrated NaCl (salt) eye drops are used to osmotically remove fluid out of the cornea and improve the vision.

A corneal transplant is needed if the swelling cannot be treated adequately with eye drops and there is significant visual loss from the swelling. Our corneal experts, Dr. David Fuerst and Dr. Nicole Fuerst, offer the most advanced treatments for corneal swelling. Our doctors evaluate what layer of the cornea is affected and create a customized treatment plan tailored to each patient.

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location