The predominant symptom of RCE among participants was acute awakening pain.
The predominant symptom of RCE among participants was acute awakening pain. Photo: Aaron Bronner, OD. Click image to enlarge.

To better define recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) epithelial symptomatology and evaluate the subjective efficacy of proposed treatments, researchers recently queried members of an international RCE support group for data on their experiences. The team designed a 24-question poll covering demographics, clinical data and therapies, then shared it with 1,856 participants of an online support group. The questionnaire generated 257 responses, mainly from North American and Caucasian patients (86% female, 14% male). Results were recently presented at ARVO 2022.

Only 27% of RCE cases mentioned were seen by a corneal specialist, but 92% were referred to a healthcare professional of some sort. The predominant symptom was acute awakening pain (77%). RCE significantly impaired patients’ quality of life (68%). Some respondents believed that daily wear of a mask while COVID mandates were in place may have increased the frequency of episodes (16%).

Regarding surgical procedures, manual debridement was the most performed (22%), effective in 30% of patients. Phototherapeutic keratectomy was performed in 20% of patients, effective in 60%. Almost 70% of patients were treated with hypertonic gel, which was the most efficient medical treatment, according to the patients (59%).

Original abstract content © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2022.

Lama H, Bourges JL, Brézin A. Collecting data from a social network as a new method to explore recurrent corneal erosions syndrome. ARVO 2022 annual meeting.