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Band Keratopathy


Updated November 21, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: Band keratopathy is a disorder that affects the cornea, the clear dome-like structure on the front part of the eye. Band keratopathy is characterized by a linear band of calcium that becomes deposited across the cornea. The deposition appears grainy and whitish-gray in color.

Band keratopathy sometimes occurs in people who have high levels of calcium in their bodies due to kidney disease or gout. Band keratopathy also occurs in people who have a chronic inflammatory condition.

Symptoms of band keratopathy include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye redness
  • Foreign body sensation

Treating band keratopathy consists of a chemical treatment called chelation. Chelation involves the use of a chemical called ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid (EDTA) that takes the calcium out of the cornea. When chelation is not successful, an excimer laser has been succesful in removing the calcium and recreating a smooth corneal surface.

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