Corneal Ulcers

What Are Corneal Ulcers?

A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. It’s a serious condition that can cause long-term damage and vision loss if not treated promptly. Corneal ulcers are commonly caused by infections, but can also result from severe dry eye, physical eye trauma, or wearing contact lenses for extended periods.

Symptoms of Corneal Ulcers:

Symptoms of a corneal ulcer can be severe and may include:

  • Severe pain and redness in the eye
  • Pus or thick discharge from the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • A white or gray round spot on the cornea that’s visible with the naked eye if the ulcer is large
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Constant tearing or eye irritation

Treatment for Corneal Ulcers:

Prompt treatment is crucial for corneal ulcers and usually involves:

  • Antibiotic, Antifungal, or Antiviral Eye Drops: These are used to treat the infection causing the ulcer.
  • Pain Relief Medications: To help manage discomfort.
  • Steroid Eye Drops: To reduce inflammation after the infection has improved.
  • Corneal Transplant: In severe cases where the ulcer does not respond to treatment, a corneal transplant may be necessary.

Prevention of Corneal Ulcers:

Preventive measures include:

  • Practicing good hygiene, especially for contact lens wearers (e.g., washing hands before handling lenses, following proper lens cleaning and wearing schedule).
  • Protecting the eyes from dust, wind, and physical injury by wearing protective eyewear.
  • Seeking prompt treatment for eye infections or injuries.
  • Not wearing contact lenses overnight or while swimming.

To learn more about corneal ulcers, their causes, diagnosis, and surgical options, visit your optometrist.

Please note that this information is provided for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. If you suspect you have corneal ulcers or any eye-related concerns, it is important to consult with an eye care professional for a proper evaluation and personalized recommendations.