What Is the Treatment for Anterior Basement Membrane Dystrophy?

Anterior Basement Membrane Dystrophy (ABMD) is a common eye condition that affects the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. It is characterized by an irregularity in the basement membrane, a thin layer that separates the corneal epithelium from the underlying stroma. ABMD can cause discomfort, blurred vision, and recurrent corneal erosions. While there is no cure for ABMD, there are several treatment options available to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those affected.

1. Artificial Tears: Lubricating eye drops can help alleviate dryness and discomfort associated with ABMD. These drops can be used as needed throughout the day to keep the eyes moisturized.

2. Ointments: Prescription ointments that contain lubricating ingredients can provide extended relief during sleep. These ointments are typically thicker than eye drops and create a protective barrier, preventing the eyelids from sticking to the cornea.

3. Bandage Contact Lenses: In some cases, your eye doctor may recommend the use of a bandage contact lens to protect the cornea and promote healing. These specialized lenses can help reduce pain and prevent recurrent corneal erosions.

4. Debridement: In cases where recurrent corneal erosions occur, a procedure called debridement may be performed. During this procedure, the doctor gently removes the damaged epithelial cells from the cornea to promote healing and reduce the risk of erosions.

5. Epithelial Membrane Transplantation: For severe cases of ABMD, where other treatments have been unsuccessful, epithelial membrane transplantation may be considered. This procedure involves transplanting a thin layer of healthy cells from a donor cornea onto the affected cornea to improve its stability and reduce symptoms.

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6. Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK): PTK is a laser procedure that can be used to reshape the cornea and smooth out irregularities caused by ABMD. This procedure can improve vision and reduce the risk of recurrent corneal erosions.

7. Medications: In some cases, your eye doctor may prescribe topical medications, such as antibiotic ointments or anti-inflammatory drops, to manage symptoms and prevent secondary infections.

8. Avoiding Eye Rubbing: Rubbing the eyes can exacerbate the symptoms of ABMD and increase the risk of corneal erosions. It is important to avoid rubbing the eyes and to be mindful of triggers that may lead to itching or irritation.

9. Regular Eye Examinations: Regular check-ups with an eye care professional are essential to monitor the progression of ABMD and adjust treatment options accordingly. Your doctor can evaluate the health of your cornea and recommend appropriate treatments to manage your specific symptoms.


1. Can ABMD be cured?
No, there is currently no cure for ABMD. However, treatment options are available to manage the symptoms effectively.

2. How long does treatment take?
The duration of treatment varies depending on the severity of ABMD and individual response to various therapies. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for optimal results.

3. Are there any home remedies for ABMD?
While there are no specific home remedies for ABMD, practicing good eye hygiene, avoiding eye rubbing, and using artificial tears can help alleviate symptoms.

4. Can ABMD lead to vision loss?
In most cases, ABMD does not lead to permanent vision loss. However, recurrent corneal erosions can cause temporary vision disturbances.

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5. Is surgery always required for ABMD?
Surgery is not always necessary for ABMD. In many cases, non-surgical treatments can effectively manage the symptoms.

6. Can ABMD be prevented?
ABMD is typically a hereditary condition and cannot be prevented. However, taking good care of your eyes and avoiding eye trauma can minimize symptoms.

7. Can ABMD affect both eyes?
Yes, ABMD can affect one or both eyes. It is common for both eyes to be affected, although the severity may vary.

8. Is ABMD more common in certain age groups?
ABMD can develop at any age, but it is more common in older individuals.

9. Can contact lenses worsen ABMD symptoms?
Contact lenses can exacerbate symptoms in some individuals. It is best to consult with an eye care professional to determine the most suitable options for your specific condition.