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