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What is recurrent corneal erosion syndrome (RES)?

Recurrent corneal erosion syndrome (RES) is a painful condition that develops when the surface skin of the cornea tears. This causes sudden and severe stabbing pain in the eye which eventually gets better only to re-occur once again. Some people can have several episodes in a week and these usually happen at night and wake the person up in pain.

What are the causes of recurrent corneal erosion syndrome?

Recurrent corneal erosion can happen after a scratch injury to the eye and in this scenario a child’s fingernail or gardening are common causes. In other cases recurrent corneal erosion can start spontaneously with no history of injury and can even occur in both eyes. In these cases there is often an abnormality of adhesion between the layers of the cornea, which is known as an epithelial basement membrane dystrophy.


What are the treatment options for recurrent corneal erosion?

Most cases of recurrent corneal erosion will get better with fastidious use of night time lubricant ointment to prevent the surface of the eye sticking to the eyelid during sleep. You may need to do this for several months before the episodes stop happening. Your eye doctor may also ask you to use salt ointment at night and encourage you to stay well hydrated. Other treatments can focus on treating lid margin disease including blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.

Surgical treatments for recurrent corneal erosion

Where night time lubrication has failed to stop recurrent corneal erosion, people can benefit from procedures such as needle puncture of the cornea or alcohol delamination. At OCL Vision our preferred treatment is laser PTK (photo-therapeutic keratectomy). In this treatment the excimer laser is used to stimulate better adhesion of the surface layer of the cornea. PTK successfully stops recurrent corneal erosion in 80-90% of cases. PTK can be repeated where one treatment has failed to stop recurrent corneal erosion. Laser PTK is covered by all private medical insurers in the UK and is also available to self pay patients. Discover insurance options available at OCL Vision here.

How much does recurrent corneal erosion treatment cost?

We offer 0% interest finance options making it easier to spread the cost of surgery over up to 24 months.

A minimum 10% deposit is required and the balance is split over your chosen monthly period of either 6, 12 or 24 months at a rate of 0% APR.

PTK (photo-therapeutic keratectomy) £1500 per eye, or £56 over 24 months (£2950 for both eyes)
Corneal consult charge (excludes scans) £350

If you suffer from recurrent corneal erosion and would like to discuss potential diagnosis and treatment options, make an enquiry or call on 0203 369 2020.

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