Stolte Eye Center

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Dr. Stolte of Stolte Eye Center located in Spring Hill Florida is an ophthalmologist specializing in Corneal Disease treatment. Please contact our office to schedule your evaluation.

What is cornea?

The cornea is the outmost dome-shaped layer of the eye covering the front of the eye, and it plays an important role in focusing vision. It also helps to shield the rest of the eye from dust, germs and other harmful matter. Some of the most common issues affecting cornea include:


  • Allergies
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Corneal dystrophies - conditions in which parts of the cornea lose clarity due to a buildup of cloudy material
  • Infections
  • Injuries
  • Refractive errors


Eye allergies are quite common, and they can be either:

Seasonal - more common, associated with pollen, grass or other airborne allergens

Yearlong – these allergies are triggered by indoor allergens like dust, mold or animal dander.

Eye allergies are caused by external allergens and the condition is not contagious.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eyes are a very common condition. It occurs when tears don’t produce adequate lubrication for your eyes. Inefficient tear production can have many reasons and can occur when your tear glands (lacrimal glands) either don’t produce enough tears or produce poor quality tears. Dry eyes feel very uncomfortable, and you can experience them in certain situations, such as in an air-conditioned room while watching TV or looking at a computer screen for longer periods of time. You are also more likely to have a dry eye if you wear contact lenses, recently had LASIK eye surgery, or use two or more glaucoma eye drops. Quite often, thyroid dysfunction and the hormonal changes associated with menopause can cause dry eye. Treatments for dry eyes offer relief and make you feel more comfortable and they include lifestyle changes, eye drops, and some minor procedures.

Corneal dystrophies

Corneal dystrophies are a group of progressive genetic eye disorders in which the cornea becomes cloudy. In some patients it may cause any symptoms, others may experience significant vision impairment. Most corneal dystrophies affect both eyes, they progress slowly, tend to be hereditary and do not affect other parts of the body. The treatment for corneal dystrophies depends on the type and the severity of symptoms. Patients with corneal dystrophy will have repeat corneal erosion, which is often treated with ointments, antibiotics, eye drops or special soft contact lenses.

Infections

Corneal infections can be caused by bacteria, contaminated contact lenses or trauma to the cornea. These infections cause discharge and pain and can, in some cases contribute to the reduction of vision. One of the most common is bacterial keratitis (an inflammatory condition), which is often caused by wearing contact lenses overnight. Redness, pain, tearing, eye discharge are some of the symptoms associated with corneal infections. Minor infections are treated with antibiotic drops. The scaring of the cornea may result in permanent vision loss, requiring a corneal transplant.

Injuries

Corneal abrasion (scratched cornea/outer surface of the eye) is one of the most common eye injuries. The scratched cornea is often very painful, and it is associated with red eyes, blurred vision, feeling like something is in your eye and light sensitivity. Other corneal injuries are often:


  • Chemical burns
  • Foreign bodies
  • Problems associated with contact lens wear
  • Ultraviolet light injuries


To diagnose a corneal abrasion injury, a complete eye test is required, and fluorescein dye drops are used to look for the injury. The treated depends on the cause of the injury:


  • Pain medication
  • Stop wearing contact lenses
  • Removing the foreign body
  • Eye drops or ointments
  • Eye patch or special temporary bandage contact lens
  • Refractive errors


Refractive error means that the shape of your eye is not shaped correctly, either it is too long or too short, keeping your eye from focusing well resulting in a distorted and blurred vision. The shape of the eyeball could be also caused by changes in the shape of the cornea or aging of the lens (cataract). The main four types of refractive errors are astigmatism, myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and presbyopia (loss of vision due to age). The most common symptom is blurred vision, but others such as headaches, haziness, glare or halos, double vision, feeling the need to squint or eye strain are known to be associated with refractive errors. A complete eye exam is necessary to diagnose all refractive errors and the treatment is different for each error diagnosed. Most common are contact lenses, eyeglasses, LASIK surgery, and cataract surgery.