Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy

Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy (EBMD), is one of the common corneal diseases. It is also known as Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy and Anterior Basement Membrane Dystrophy (ABMD).

Most cases are considered degenerative rather than hereditary. It is more common in older age and women. EBMD is a condition in which the surface of cornea is irregular because there is loose adhesion between surface of cornea and deeper layers. Therefore, specially when eye gets dry the surface can slough off, causing painful erosions.

Some of the symptoms of EBMD are sensitivity to light, the feeling that something is in the eye, and astigmatism (from the uneven corneal surface). Optical aberrations can also occur, causing glare, ghosting, blurriness, poor contrast, and poor night vision because of haloes and starbursts. Visual acuity can be adversely affected. That is the reason we usually suggest treating cornea irregularities before cataract surgery.

Sodium chloride drops/ointment or lubricating drops/ointment may help to alleviate symptoms. Debridement of the cornea becomes necessary if conservative treatment is not enough. The epithelium is scraped off so it can replicate itself.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for EBMD. Corneal erosions can recur, making a repeat surgery necessary.