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Eye and Vision Care

Cataracts and Map Dot Corneal Dystrophy

06/17/2011

Question:

I have an amlyopic left eye with 20/100 vision. The vision in my good eye is 20/20 with glasses. I`ve had this since I was a child. Had surgery, therapy but there has been no improvement. I`m now 60, and was told about 1.5 years ago that I have a small cataract on my good eye. About 8 months ago I was told I have some map-dot corneal dystrophy in both eyes. I`ve always had dry eyes since I was a teenager. In the last 10 years they have gotten worse but I was just told by my eye doctor to use eye drops. They seemed to be worse at night and always felt like something was in them. Again, just advised to use eye drops but wasn`t told if I didn`t that I could end-up with corneal dystrophy. If I had been told to use them even when I didn`t feel I needed them, I would have. I`m so angry. I also was never told to wear sunglasses to prevent cataracts. Why wouldn`t a doctor who knows I only have one good eye not stress these things to me?

Is there anything I should be doing to prevent the progression of the map-dot dystrophy? Please help me--I`m scared!!

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. While artificial tears may be useful in treating the symptoms of eye irritation that may result from map-dot corneal dystrophy, they unfortunately do not prevent the onset of the condition. Map-dot corneal dystrophy is considered a hereditary condition and can present with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from no symptoms at all to light sensitivity, eye pain and irritation, and a mild decrease in vision. Treatment options range from eye drop/ointment use to surgical options for more severe cases.

With regards to cataracts, wearing sunglasses on a daily basis year-round is a great way to protect eye health overall and may be helpful in preventing early-onset cataract formation. Unfortunately, most people develop cataracts at some point during their life, with or without sunglass wear. Wearing sunglasses may help delay the onset of cataracts and may help slow the progression of cataract formation.

Your questions about the testing results you've been given or the risks, benefits, and alternatives for proposed treatments of your conditions need to be directed to your treating physician(s). You should insist that they answer these questions in a way that you are able to understand before consenting to any treatment. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion.

Best of luck and thank you again for visiting NetWellness.

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Response by:

Julia Rae Geldis, OD, MS Julia Rae Geldis, OD, MS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University