Corneal Infections

The most common causes of corneal infections include contact lens use, herpes keratitis caused by the herpes virus and fungal keratitis developing after herbicide injuries.  Eye redness developing during contact lens use may be the first sign of infection. Unless confirmed otherwise by a doctor, the patient should stop wearing lenses. Many bacterial and parasitic infections may lead to corneal ulcers severe enough to result in permanent impairment of vision and even loss of vision in contact lens wearers.

Herpetic keratitis is the most common cause of corneal infections and associated corneal opacities in adults in developed countries. Fungal keratitis is common in herbicide injuries suffered by people living or working in rural areas.

Corneal infections are serious diseases which threaten vision. Early diagnosis and accurate treatment are crucial in preventing permanent loss of vision.

Corneal Opacities

The most common cause is scarring that develops after corneal infections. Spots developing due to material build-up in corneal tissue in congenital corneal dystrophy is another major cause. Corneal opacities mostly occur as a result of consanguineous marriage. Corneal transplantation is the method of treatment in cases of permanent vision loss.

Corneal Edema

Transparency of the cornea is ensured by the endothelial cells in the inner surface of the cornea, which work like a pump. If the number of these cells falls below a certain value, blurred vision and corneal edema occurs. Cataract surgeries are the primary cause. Having a cataract surgery performed by inexperienced doctors and without the required level of surgical quality may lead to corneal edema. Though rarely, permanent corneal edema may develop in children and adults due to congenital insufficiency of endothelial cells. Treatment is only possible with corneal transplantation. Historically, the entire cornea used to be replaced in eyes with this problem. Today, sutureless endothelial corneal transplantation is possible, in which there is less risk and only the diseased tissue is replaced.


Inflammation of the cornea is called "keratitis". There are several types of causes. Early diagnosis is very important for treatment.