Recurrent erosion syndrome (RES) refers to repeated episodes of superficial, spontaneous abrasions leading to eye pain. Erosions are “scratches” on the surface of the cornea, the clear portion of the eye overlying the iris and the pupil. In many cases, the cells of the outer layer of the cornea are loosely attached to the underlying tissue. These cells spontaneously slough leading to recurrent erosions. Most episodes occur without an identifiable precipitant. RES remains a common and often under diagnosed condition that can have a great impact on the quality of life for patients.
What are the Symptoms?
What are the Causes?
Recurrent Erosion Syndrome typically occurs in eyes that have suffered an abrasive injury (from a fingernail or paper cut). However, it may also occur spontaneously. In these cases, there is often an underlying corneal dystrophy such as Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy. The area of the erosion will heal initially but it is prone to reforming in the future without clinical intervention.
What is the Diagnosis?
A person who is affected by recurrent erosion may be prescribed night-time viscous lubricants for 3 months to encourage the surface epithelium to bind to the underlying basal lamina. Where this is ineffective, Laser Vision surgeons can perform a Photo-therapeutic Keratectomy (PTK) using the latest Schwind Amaris 1050RS laser. This procedure is designed to stimulate better adhesion of the epithelium to the corneal layers underneath and is successful in 80-90% of cases.