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Corneal Edema


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Your cornea may swell after eye surgery, injury, infection or inflammation. This is called corneal edema. It also occurs from some eye diseases. Because the cornea helps transmit and focus light as it enters your eye, this condition can affect your vision.

What are the Symptoms?

If you have corneal edema, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Blurriness or distorted sight
  • Halos around light sources
  • Discomfort and sensitivity to foreign particles
  • Light sensitivity

At Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of the University of Miami Health System, we understand the discomfort associated with this condition. Our skilled eye care professionals are here to help relieve your condition.


Eye Examination - A complete eye exam by a qualified ophthalmologist is the best way to diagnose corneal edema. If needed, additional tests may be performed.


Eye Drops - Depending on the cause of your swelling, your doctor may prescribe eye drops to reduce inflammation or to reduce fluid buildup from increased pressure inside your eye (intraocular pressure). Some patients find hypertonic saline drops or ointment temporarily helpful.

Hair Dryer - If your swelling increases overnight, your doctor may suggest using a hair dryer to blow air on your eyes. This makes your tears evaporate quicker and helps reduce corneal swelling.

Surgery - If your swelling is so severe it significantly affects your vision and you have not responded to other treatments, your doctor may suggest Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK). In this outpatient procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision and replaces the diseased layer of the cornea with healthy new corneal cells attached to a layer of donor corneal tissue. The surgery usually requires just one suture and patients generally recover quickly. It has fewer side effects than full thickness corneal transplant surgery.

Why Choose Bascom Palmer Eye Institute?

First Class Care. Bascom Palmer is the nation’s Number One eye care provider. Our patients receive care from leading eye doctors using the most advanced treatment methods available today.

Trusted Specialists. Our 1,300-member team includes respected corneal specialists trained to care for patients with every corneal condition – from the routine to rare.

Research-based Medicine. Choosing a university-based eye care provider means having access to leading edge treatments and technologies, as well as promising clinical research trials. At Bascom Palmer, we close the gap between groundbreaking laboratory discoveries and treatment.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.