Dye Examination of the Cornea

Defects in the surface of the cornea can be visualized with fluorescein or rose bengal solution (in either case, administer one drop of 1% solution). Since these dyes are not usually absorbed by the epithelium, they may be used to visualize loss of epithelium over a wide area (such as corneal erosion) and extremely fine defects (as in superficial punctate keratitis). Illumination with a cobalt blue filter enhances the fluorescent effect.

— Slit lamp examination of the cornea.

— Slit lamp examination of the cornea.

Fig. 5.2 The slit lamp (slit aperture) may be used to examine all levels of the cornea with a narrow beam of collimated light.

Fig. 5.2 The slit lamp (slit aperture) may be used to examine all levels of the cornea with a narrow beam of collimated light.

These dye methods can reveal corneal epithelial defects (corneal erosion) even without the use of a slit lamp, which is helpful in examining infants.

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