Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE) is a group of three rare, but closely-linked eye conditions:

  1. Iris Nevus (Cogan-Reese Syndrome)
  2. Chandler’s Syndrome
  3. Essential Progressive Iris Syndrome

It is common for cells from the cornea to move to the iris. This loss of cells leads to corneal swelling and distortion of the iris and pupil. The movement of corneal cells prevents fluid from properly draining from the eye. Pressure in the eye then builds up that leads to glaucoma.

What Causes ICE?

The cause of ICE is not completely known. Some eye doctors believe it is triggered by a virus, like herpes simplex that causes the cornea to swell and lose cells. Often, this condition only affects one eye. Middle-aged women are more likely to develop ICE than men.

How Do You Know if You Have ICE?

If you have developed Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome, you may experience blurry vision or pain in one of your eyes. In some instances, you might notice changes to your eye’s iris or pupil. If you experience any of these ICE symptoms, you should have a comprehensive eye exam. During this exam, your eye doctor will perform tests to determine if you have ICE that will show if you have:

  • Swelling in your cornea
  • Changes in your iris
  • Increased eye pressure that may indicate glaucoma

Can ICE Be Cured?

There is no cure for stopping the progression of Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome. Treatment for ICE focuses on treating the glaucoma it causes by reducing eye pressure. This is done with medication or possibly by surgery. In some cases, it may be necessary for a cornea transplant to be done to prevent blindness in the affected eye.

Such conditions as ICE demonstrate the importance of having a comprehensive eye exam on a regular basis. However, if you experience changes in your vision or pain in your eyes, do not wait for your yearly exam. Do not hesitate to call Valley Eyecare at (602) 955-2700 to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors.