Your cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped structure covering the outermost part of your eyes. Its even surface plays a central role in focusing light rays on your retina. Genetic irregularities, however, may cause corneal problems that may interfere with the light-focusing process, resulting in visual impairment. One of the most common forms is map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy. Your expert eye doctor from Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care further discusses this condition.
Risk Factors and Root Cause
Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, also known as epithelial basement membrane dystrophy (EBMD) or Cogan’s microcystic dystrophy, happens when the cornea’s basement layer thickens, weakening the bond between the cells. This may also lead to the loosening and sloughing off of the epithelium, the most superficial corneal layer.
While heredity is a major risk factor for EBMD’s development, studies also show that this condition may develop in your adult years. Individuals aged 30 years and above, in fact, are commonly diagnosed with this problem. Frequent eye trauma may also lead to this condition, which is why it’s essential to undergo a comprehensive eye exam whenever you sustain eye injuries.
In EBMD, the surface cells of the corneal epithelium are eroded, damaging the entire corneal surface. As it loses its normally clear and glass-like smoothness, you eyes may reveal corneal cell accumulates, which look like maps, dots or fingerprints. Without the outer covering of your eyes, you may be at a higher risk of developing eye infections and irritations. You may also experience increased sensitivity to light and blurry eyesight.
Our Recommended Management
Treating map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy depends on the severity of its effects on your vision. We may recommend applying hypertonic eye drop solutions to lubricate your cornea, which may help keep its surface smooth. We may also suggest using salt solution ointments to reduce swelling, improving your eye comfort. Another treatment is wearing gas-permeable contact lenses, which may act as a substitute to your impaired cornea, giving you better visual acuity.
If you have any further questions about Cogan’s microcystic dystrophy, call us at (301) 859-4060, or fill out our form. We serve Washington, DC, Arlington, and nearby VA areas.