This pilot study will examine the usefulness of a new instrument called the Dynamic Light
Scattering (DLS) device for documenting and monitoring changes in the cornea, the front part
of the eye where contact lenses are placed. The DLS device uses a low-intensity laser
similar to that used in supermarket checkouts to measure the cloudiness of the cornea. The
results of this study may lead to further investigations using DLS to discover the cause of
corneal clouding and to develop treatments to prevent it.
Healthy volunteers and patients with corneal clouding or opacification 18 years of age and
older may be eligible for this study.
Participants will have a standard eye examination, including a check of visual acuity and
eye pressure. The retina will also be examined and photographs of the cornea may be taken.
For the DLS test, the subject sits in front of the device and looks at a yellow-green target
while the cloudiness of the cornea is measured. Subjects will be tested four times. The
entire procedure takes less than 30 minutes.
Corneal disease and injuries are the leading cause of visits to eye care clinics in the US
today. These diseases are also some of the most painful eye disorders. Two important areas
for research on the cornea are 1) to explore and understand the molecular basis of corneal
transparency and 2) to analyze the molecular nature of corneal inflammation and wound
healing. We have developed a new clinical device to understand molecular changes that occur
in the lens, called Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) device. Studies have shown its potential
in the detection of the earliest changes occurring in the cataract, and have also shown good
test retest reproducibility of the system. We now would like to apply this technique to
study changes that occur in corneal opacification. In this pilot project, we would like to
study the normal cornea in young and older persons (volunteers) as well as cloudy, opaque
corneas. This will allow us to determine if useful data can be obtained, and if so, lead to
further studies in various corneal disorders caused by trauma, infections, and dystrophies,
as well as those caused by systemic or inherited disorders.
Individuals greater than or equal to 18 years of age.
Control subjects must have normal, clear corneas as determined by slit lamp biomicroscopy
and central corneal thickness less than 0.55 mm centrally.
Patients with corneal clouding and opacification.
To be eligible, participants must not satisfy the criterion below:
Individuals who cannot cooperate or keep still for the DLS measurements.