What is recurrent corneal erosion syndrome?

Recurrent corneal erosion syndrome (RCES) can be a cause of repeated episodes of pain and watering of your eye, especially overnight or in the early hours of the morning. It develops because the most superficial self-healing layer of your cornea, the epithelium, does not attach firmly to the underlying basement membrane.

The most common causes of RCES are previous scratch injury to your eye and an underlying epithelial basement membrane dystrophy.

What is laser phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK)?

 In PTK, excimer laser is used to treat and polish the Bowman’s layer of the cornea. This allows the superficial self-healing layer of the cornea, the epithelium, to grow back with stronger attachments. This treatment can potentially also be combined with treating your refractive errors, such as short-sightedness, long-sightedness or astigmatism, or the need for reading glasses.

PTK is usually carried out when your symptoms have not responded to non-surgical treatments, such as lubricant drops, lubricant ointments and a therapeutic soft contact lens.