At Eye Surgeons of Worcester our cornea specialist and surgeon provides examination, diagnosis and treatment of all types of diseases of the cornea including corneal infections, corneal dystrophy and other Corneal Problems & Conditions such as corneal erosion and pterygium.

If the outermost layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is damaged from trauma of any type, i.e. getting a foreign body in your eye such as piece of metal, a poke in the eye from a branch or a finger or even from a dirty or damaged contact lens, it is possible for bacteria, viruses or fungi to penetrate the cornea and cause an infection which is called a Keratitis. Keratitis can cause a painful inflammation with a discharge, which if not treated quickly and appropriately, can lead to corneal erosion, corneal ulceration and corneal scarring that can result in a loss of corneal transparency and require a corneal transplant in order to restore vision.

Herpes Zoster Keratitis (Shingles)

Herpes Zoster Keratitis is actually caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, called Varicella-Zoster Virus. It is entirely possible that after having chicken pox as a child, the Varicella-Zoster Virus remains in the nerve cells of your body in an inactive state. The virus can reactivate later in life and travel through the nerves in your body causing a painful blistering rash. If the Varicella-Zoster Virus travels to your head or neck it can affect the eye and cause a corneal infection.

Ocular Herpes and Herpes Keratitis

Ocular Herpes or Herpes of the eye is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus and is the most common causes of corneal blindness in the United States today. Up to 50% of people who have a single Herpes Simplex viral infection of the eye will experience a flare up or recurrence. The virus often leads to irreversible scarring of the cornea.

Corneal dystrophies are a group of relatively rare genetic eye disorders in which abnormal material often accumulates in the cornea, the clear, round dome covering the eye's iris and pupil. The material may cause the cornea to lose its transparency, potentially causing loss of vision or blurred vision. Most corneal dystrophies affect both eyes, progress slowly and run in families. They are typically described by which part of the cornea they affect-anterior, stromal, or posterior. The most common posterior corneal dystrophy that can cause discomfort and decreased vision is Fuchs Dystrophy for which our corneal specialist has the ability to provide initial medical management and if necessary, specialized corneal transplant surgery to restore vision and corneal integrity. Other types of corneal dystrophy include Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy, Lattice Dystrophy and Keratoconus-a progressive thinning of the cornea. Our corneal specialist is able to provide thorough examination, diagnosis and treatment options for each type of cornea dystrophy as needed.

Recurrent Corneal Erosion

Recurrent Corneal Erosion is a condition of the cornea whereby there is a poor attachment of the outermost layer of the cornea, the epithelium, to the underlying basement membrane layer, called Bowman’s Membrane. Patients who experience Recurrent Corneal Erosion may experience sharp pain, light sensitivity, tearing and watering of their eyes, and a gritty sensation. Often this occurs upon awakening or rubbing the eyes.


A pterygium is a fleshy triangular growth of tissue on the cornea that may grow slowly throughout a person’s life. Rarely, a pterygium can grow across the cornea and block the pupil. People who are exposed to more sunlight and UV light are more prone to developing pterygia. Pterygia may become red, swollen and inflamed. Occasionally they need to be removed. Our corneal specialist uses a surgical technique with conjunctival thin-strip auto grafting in order to prevent recurrences and obtain the best possible results for pterygium surgery.