Learn About Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy

The Experts at Lehigh Eye Specialists Will Diagnose and Treat Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy.

What Is Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy?

Epithelial basement membrane dystrophy (EBMD) is a type of corneal disease. It’s the most common kind of corneal disease that patients face. 

Your eye’s cornea has an outer layer called the epithelium. Its foundation is a basement membrane. 

EBMD occurs when the basement membrane is found to be faulty. The basement membrane can’t correctly adhere to the cornea’s outer layer. The basement membrane becomes irregular and causes vision to change or fluctuate.

As time passes, cells from the outer layer can start to break off. These phenomena can result in painful erosions and decreased vision.

There is no direct cause of EBMD. Some patients might be genetically predisposed to have their corneal epithelium become loose. It’s often associated with underlying skin conditions like rosacea and systemic dehydration.

Symptoms of EBMD

What Are the Signs of Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy?

While some patients with EBMD don’t experience visual symptoms or eye pain, others will need intervention. As the eye disease progresses, some patients might experience unpleasant side effects.

Signs of EBMD include fluctuating vision, poor vision, sensitivity to light, or pain. Other symptoms can include redness, irritation, and foreign body sensation.

Many patients get misdiagnosed and are told they have dry eye syndrome. In advanced cases of EBMD, the cornea’s outer layer might slough off in small pieces. A patient could wake up in the morning with blurry vision and severe eye pain.

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How Does Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy Get Treated?

You first need to get diagnosed with EBMD to start receiving treatment. Many optometrists and ophthalmologists can identify EBMD through screenings you receive during routine eye appointments. The evidence of EBMD will become more obvious as the disease progresses. 

One of the ways EBMD is treated is with artificial tears. Most patients can use those when they have a flare-up of symptoms. The artificial tears are usually enough to mitigate the unpleasant side effects. 

Those with more advanced EBMD might need oral or topical anti-inflammatory medications. Some patients might get prescribed soft bandage contact lenses to help protect their corneas. Patients suffering from frequent corneal erosions could benefit from a prescription eye ointment used before bed. 

Advanced cases of EBMD could benefit from superficial keratectomy. During this procedure, loose corneal epithelium gets removed. It’s then allowed to regrow underneath a protective contact lens.


Why Choose Lehigh Eye Specialists?

Lehigh Eye Specialists is the leading provider of eye care in Lehigh and Northampton counties in Eastern Pennsylvania. Our staff offers exceptional care and surgical eye treatments. We utilize the latest in eye care technology to provide our patients with everything they need under one roof.

Our team includes highly-trained optometrists and ophthalmologists. Our goal is to address your eye issues at the source. If you’re referring a patient for epithelial basement membrane dystrophy, you can feel confident when you work with our office that your patient is in the best of care.

If you’re a patient who has been referred to Lehigh Eye Specialists for EBMD, visit our Patient Portal page to prepare for your appointment.

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About Lehigh Eye Specialists

Dr. David DeRose is a highly skilled and compassionate ophthalmologist with a remarkable focus on corneal diseases. With extensive expertise and a passion for improving patients’ vision and eye health, Dr. DeRose is dedicated to providing personalized and cutting-edge treatments for a wide range of corneal conditions.

About Dr. DeRose  About Our Practice