Assorted corneal findings can signal systemic disease. Many of these manifestations can bring attention to some serious, even potentially life threatening conditions.  Practitioners faced with various clinical signs affecting the cornea are forced to make an appropriate differential diagnosis and apply adequate treatment including needed referrals to sub-specialties within medicine.   A timely diagnosis can certainly minimize any corneal morbidity but even impact chances of mortality.  Corneal findings can be classified into systemic causes that include metabolic disorders, immunologic/inflammatory conditions and infectious diseases. Generally, patients with any condition related to metabolic disturbance are asymptomatic. Unlike patients with metabolic disorders, patients who have an immunologic or inflammatory cause are often symptomatic with presenting corneal signs.

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Joseph Shovlin, O.D.



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