• What is the best treatment option for corneal edema?


    Question:

    What is the best treatment option for corneal edema after cataract surgery in an 72-year-old diabetic woman?


    Answer:

    Corneal edema (swelling of the clear, dome-shaped window at the front of the eye) after cataract surgery is quite common as the cornea can take some time to recover. Depending on the cause, there are different treatments recommended. Usually, with enough time (a few weeks on average), all that is needed are the standard post-operative drops to relieve swelling. However, if someone has unresolved inflammation/edema inside the eye, the corneal swelling can linger, and steroid drops are recommended.

    If the intraocular pressure is very high or very low, corneal edema can also occur. This should also be brought back into normal range with the right treatment.

    Sometimes, special eye drops may be needed to pull the excess fluid out of the cornea. As a last resort, a corneal transplant can be performed to replace the damaged endothelial cells responsible for the swelling.


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