Blurred vision and halos around lights are two common symptoms of corneal edema, according to UW Medicine. Patients with early-stage corneal edema typically notice such symptoms in the morning, with the symptoms improving as the day progresses.
Eye pain and sensations of something on the eye are two symptoms caused by fluid buildup in the cornea, notes UW Medicine. The fluid buildup creates blistering on the cornea in advanced cases of corneal edema, which often requires treatment. The progression from mild to severe cases of corneal edema varies depending on the cause. For example, a common cause of the condition is cataract surgery, which provokes a quick onset of blurred vision. On the other hand, patients with Fuchs dystrophy, a genetic condition that increases the risk of developing corneal edema, may not have significant symptoms, which usually progress slowly over many years.
However, corneal edema is not diagnosed by symptoms alone, and requires examination with a slit-lamp microscope, explains UW Medicine. Once diagnosed, patients with mild cornea edema often do not require treatment. Depending on the symptoms, treatment for mild cases involves using eye drops to alleviate excess fluid. If a patient's vision is critically impaired, surgical procedures, such as a cornea transplant, are recommended. The procedure involves transplanting part of or the entire cornea from a donor to a patient, which typically results in significantly improved vision.