Corneal Ulcers 2020-12-09T00:41:54-05:00

Corneal ulcers are open sores on your cornea

This serious condition must be treated promptly to avoid permanent vision problems
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Corneal ulcers can be very worrying and painful

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THIS CONDITION AND HOW TO TREAT IT

The front portion of the eye is covered with a thin, transparent membrane called the cornea, which protects the interior of the eye. If there is a break or defect in the surface layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, and damage to the underlying stroma occurs, a corneal ulcer results. The ulcer is usually caused by microorganisms, which gain access to the stroma through the break in the epithelium.

Corneal ulcers generally heal well if treated early and aggressively. However, if neglected, corneal clouding and even perforation (a hole in the cornea) may develop, resulting in serious loss of vision and possibly loss of the eye. Corneal ulcers are a serious vision-threatening condition and require prompt medical attention.

Symptoms of corneal ulcers

  • Watery eyes
  • Acute pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • The feeling that there’s something in your eye
  • Discharge from the eye

Corneal ulcers are caused by:

  • Infection
  • Wearing contact lenses for excessive periods
  • Inadequate contact lens sterilization
  • Eye injury
  • Lack of tear production
  • Complications of herpes simplex keratitis, neurotrophic keratitis, chronic blepharitis, conjunctivitis, trachoma, bullous keratopathy and cicatricial pemphigoid
  • Vitamin A deficiency or protein malnutrition
  • Eyelid abnormalities

If there is a break or defect in the surface layer of the cornea, a corneal ulcer results

Corneal ulcers are a serious vision-threatening condition and require prompt medical attention. If left unattended, corneal ulcers may penetrate the cornea allowing infection to enter the eyeball, which can cause permanent loss of vision and possible loss of the eye.

Your eye doctor can identify corneal ulcers by examining your eyes with magnifying instruments and performing a culture study to identify infection. Your doctor will check your eye, including under your eyelid, to make sure there are no foreign materials present. Depending on the initial exam, we may use fluorescein dye to identify the corneal defects. We may also perform a test called the Seidel test (painting the wound with dye and observing for leakage) to uncover possible deeper injuries.

If treated early, corneal ulcers are usually curable in two to three weeks. We can typically treat them with antibiotic eye drops. Sometimes, we can use topical steroids to decrease the risk of scarring and inflammation.

How soon can I resume contact lens wear?

Once the ulcer has resolved, and the corneal surface is normal, you can gradually resume the wear of contact lenses. It may be necessary to have the fit of the contact lens rechecked before resuming wear.

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Academic resources on corneal abrasions & erosion

FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THIS TREATMENT FROM AUTHORITATIVE SOURCES

A corneal abrasion is a scratch, scrape on the surface of your cornea. Fingernails, makeup brushes and tree branches are common culprits of corneal abrasions. Some other causes of corneal abrasion are rubbing your eye and having very dry eyes. Click here to read on.

The CMGs are guidelines on the diagnosis and management of a range of common and rare, but important, eye conditions that present with varying frequency in primary and first contact care. Click here to read on.

The purpose of this study is to comprehensively review the literature regarding recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) and to present treatment options and recommendations for management. Click here to read on.

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