Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

Please read our important medical disclaimer.

Question:
I am a 55-year-old woman and I suffer from map dot fingerprint dystrophy. I have a tendency to get flare-ups in my left eye and the flare-ups occur every two years. The medications are costly and my insurance does not cover my medications. Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid flare-ups?

Answer:
Map dot dystrophy of the cornea can be inherited or acquired. It generally does not affect vision but can be very painful during attacks. In between episodes, it is asymptomatic. I believe that you are doing well to keep your attacks to once every two years. There are a few measures that might help you in between attacks. In general, it is best that you keep your environment as moist as possible. For instance, a humidifier in your bedroom may help, or perhaps on your central heating system if you have one. Over-the-counter dry eye treatments such as gels and ointments to be used at bedtime are worthwhile. The ointments may be a bit better since they are thicker, but will temporarily blur your vision. Use a warm wet washcloth to remove all excess from your eyelids in the morning. Over-the-counter artificial tears used frequently throughout the day may also help. Most importantly, these agents must be used consistently for weeks to months especially during the drier winter months. Be sure to discuss with your ophthalmologist as he/she will have more specific treatments for your individual condition.

Answered by: Ivan Schwab, MD Dr. Ivan Schwab

Categories: Eye Conditions

Have a question that hasn't been answered yet? Ask it!

Answered: Jan 24, 2013

Pop needs to be configured.