Recurrent Erosion Syndrome – Urgent eye problems
Typically, a recurrent erosion syndrome is diagnosed with a history of waking up in the night with a painful and watering eye or waking up first thing in the morning with difficulty opening the eye and then acute pain. The eye can be blurred and light sensitive and the discomfort can be worse than the original corneal abrasion. Sometimes the corneal abrasion heals very quickly and is only a very slight sensation of corneal abrasion just reminding you of the original corneal abrasion. Sometimes the symptoms of pain, watering or photophobia are a lot worse than the original.
The epithelial cells on the cornea take a while to heal fully to their basement membrane when there has been a sharp injury. Therefore, it can take several months of recurrent erosions syndrome symptoms before they become less frequent and then go away completely. During this time the cells on the cornea are re-growing and being regularly shed, and each generation of cells produces stronger attachments at the base of membrane until eventually the corneal has completely self-repaired, and all of the cells are equally strong, and no further symptoms will occur.
While you are getting intermittent attacks of recurrent erosion syndrome, it is best to see an ophthalmologist to confirm the diagnosis and get advice on the treatment. The ophthalmologist will want to take a full history of what caused the original injury, even if it seemed quite minor at that time. They will then ask symptoms, how severe it is, whether it causes slight watering and discomfort and how long it persists before healing spontaneously.
The ophthalmologist will then want to examine the eye on the slit lamp even there is not a recurrent erosion syndrome episode going on at that time. He/she will be able to see if some of the epithelial cells are looking a little bit different in the area that recurrently erodes.
The best treatment of acute recurrent erosion syndrome is to keep the eye closed, see the ophthalmologist who is likely to put a pad on it for 24 hours, along with some Cyclopentolate dilating drops which relieve spasm and pain and some antibiotic ointment. Treatment is putting in the antibiotic ointment at night and lots of lubricants by day until the episodes subside in severity and frequency and eventually goes away. It is best to continue the ointment for a couple of months after you have last had an episode of recurrent erosion syndrome.
The very name recurrent erosion syndrome tells you that it is going to keep coming back. The good news is that it does not keep coming back forever and your recurrent erosion syndrome will settle.
If you have what you think may be an acute recurrent erosion syndrome, you can be seen urgently at Clinica London for assessment, advice and treatment.