What are RCEs? Are they important? What can I do?
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11 days ago
@member_31

This question is about recurrent corneal erosions, aka RCEs, aka RCES (recurrent corneal erosion syndrome)

A FitEyes member posted, referring particularly to the challenge of working virtually, constantly on the computer:

Recently I started having recurrent corneal erosions

Happens at night, I can't open my eyes, then sharp pain in the eye and the long process of trying to recover from it.

Considering that I work and have to be on for the meetings and brainstorming sessions with full focus on the computer -- it is really not easy. I had to discontinue drops.

Can you explain what this is about, why drops would cause it, and what I need to know and do?

computer-use rces:recurrent-corneal-erosion-syndrome eye-pain corneal-erosion • 40 views
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RCES (recurrent corneal erosion syndrome) may also fall under the category of "Corneal Erosions, Recurring"

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11 days ago
@member_31

Here I'll summarize the response thread to the original post.

Anatomy first

The American Academy of Ophthalmology [says][1] the cornea is "the clear, dome-shaped window at the front of the eye." Illustration, from a YouTube on that page: ![Cornea, from American Academy of Ophthalmology][2]

What are RCEs? Are they important?

A corneal erosion is when the cornea gets eroded - literally gets worn away. It's a wound, which must heal. When erosions happen repeatedly ("recurrent"), it's a real problem, because the wound can't heal, the same as if you had a scraped knee that keeps getting scraped. It's painful, it can get infected, and of course with a wounded cornea the eye can't work right. In the worst case it could become an open wound that never gets better, which means it's important to do everything we can to relieve the distress and encourage healing. The wonderfully helpful site Patient.Info [describes it this way][3]: > In recurrent corneal erosion syndrome (RCES) repeated episodes of breakdown of the corneal surface produce disabling eye symptoms and predispose the cornea to infection. > > Recurrent corneal erosions are common. They arise when damage to the cornea occurs; then, as healing begins, the new tissue is repeatedly stripped off by eyelid movement so that the epithelial layer fails to re-attach. > > The condition is very painful, as it leaves corneal nerve endings exposed. > > It may occur due to trauma but corneal dystrophy or other corneal disease may predispose (the patient to it).

What causes it?

As with other wounds there can be many causes - physical injury, diseases, or, several FitEyes members have reported RCEs in reaction to dry eye or to certain eye drops. The latter seems to be the case with the original question here, since stopping the drops solves the problem.

What to do about it?

The AAO's page on RCE treatment says there are many options and there's no way to predict what will work for each patient. The treatment flowchart graphic on that page may look a bit intimidating, but as you partner with your clinicians in the treatment process it's worth knowing the range of options, from simple lubricant drops through antibiotics and others, so read the text. You certainly want to find a solution.

FitEyes member Robert Cohen offered his practical experience about soothing the cornea:

I, too, began suffering from RCE's at night some time after starting on glaucoma drops. There are numerous options to address the problem, but the first one I started with was the moisture goggles from Eyeeco. I prefer the Quartz, because it allows me to see the time at night. For further ideas, it is worthwhile asking the fine people at dryeyeshop.com. They are extremely helpful.

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