26. April 2012 13:07
Corneal neovascularization is a condition of the eyes, involving excessive growth of blood vessels in the cornea. This occurs as a compensatory mechanism of the body to deal with the lack of sufficient oxygen supply to the eyes. The new blood vessels originate from the limbal vascular plexus, and grow into the cornea. It most commonly occurs in contact lens wearers, which is why those who wear contact lenses, are strongly suggested to get their eyes checked annually, for early diagnosis of the disease. If it goes undetected, corneal neovascularization can result in severe vision impairment. The condition can either be superficial, as in contact lens wearers, or deep, when caused by an inflammatory condition.
- Wearing contact lenses improperly or for a period longer than prescribed by the optometrist.
- Underlying intraocular medical condition, like glaucoma, pthisis bulbi, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, keratitis, trachoma and phlyctenulosis, uveitis, etc.
- Exposure of the eye to a caustic chemical, resulting in severe burns
- Immunological disorders
- Graft rejection
- Trauma to the eyes
- Infection in the eyes
- Eye pain
- Intolerance of contact lenses after a few hours of wear
- Blurred vision even while wearing contact lenses
- Actively engorged vessels (around 12 mm long) in the ‘white of the eye’
- The treatment of the disease begins with identifying its cause, and working on the elimination of that cause.
- Topical corticosteroids can be administered to manage gross vascularization.
- Surgical treatment of the condition involves corneal laser photocoagulation and diathermy of the engorged vessels.
- In case of severe chemical injuries, procedures like limbal grafting are performed.
- The instillation of topical triamcinolone and doxycycline as a way to manage neovascularization is currently under trial, and has been proved effective in rats.
- The base curve of contact lenses should be altered in soft contact lens wearers to facilitate movement of the lenses.
- The patients might also be suggested to switch to silicone hydrogel lens materials, which are more permeable to oxygen due to their high Dk/t. These lenses are FDA approved either for 30 days extended wear or continuous wear up to 6 nights and 7 days.
- Patients should be educated on the importance of adequate corneal lubrication via proper blinking and use of lubricants, and should be advised to get annual follow-ups after the treatment is complete.
To know more about Corneal Neovascularization and its treatment, visit us at Killeen Eyecare Center located at 416, North Gray Street, Killeen, TX 76541, Downtown Killeen or call us at 254-634-7805.
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