Treatment of corneal oedema depends on the cause of the oedema, as well as how advanced the swelling is. Patients with high eye pressures or eye inflammation need treatment for those conditions in order to prevent corneal oedema from worsening.
In patients with mild corneal oedema and minimal blurring of vision, concentrated ("hypertonic") saline eyedrops and ointment can help reduce the corneal swelling and improve vision.
However, as the corneal oedema becomes more advanced, corneal transplant surgery may be needed to replace the inner lining of cells of the corneal in order to restore transparency to the cornea. This form of partial corneal transplant, where only the inner lining of cells is transplanted, can be performed with different techniques such as DSAEK (Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty) and DMEK (Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty).
Uncommonly, in advanced cases of corneal oedema where there is severe scarring of the cornea, a full-thickness corneal transplant (known as Penetrating Keratoplasty) may be required.
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