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Full Details: Corneal ulcer Causes, Risk, Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications, Prevention

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Old 06-03-2022, 04:04 AM
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Default Full Details: Corneal ulcer Causes, Risk, Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications, Prevention

The cornea is the transparent tissue that forms an outer covering of the eye and is susceptible to a wide range of infections. A corneal ulcer is a wound on the surface of the cornea, which is normally caused due to an infection. It is often characterized by painful and redness of the eye.


Corneal ulcers are common caused by various infections such as:
  • Bacterial infections: These are commonly seen in people wearing contact lenses from a long period of time and/or using homemade cleansing solution to clean the lenses.
  • Viral infections: Herpes simplex virus and varicella zoster virus are one of the most common viruses that cause corneal ulcers. Here are 10 striking symptoms of viral conjunctivitis or pinkeye.
  • Fungal infections: People with suppressed immune system and those using eye drops (frequently) containing steroids suffer from corneal ulcers due to fungal attack. Read more about 10 natural remedies to strengthen your immune system.
Risk Factors
There are several factors that increase your risk of corneal ulcer. These are –
  • Stress, scratches, chemicals or minute particles (sand, gas or pollutants) cause tiny tear sin the eyes increasing the risk of bacterial infection. Read about which of these 10 symptoms of stress do you have?
  • Diseases causing dry eyes also make you susceptible to corneal ulcer as they prevent the growth of germ-fighting bacteria in the eyes.
  • Conditions that affect the eyelids thereby preventing the eyes from closing leading to dry eyes such as Bell’s palsy also make you susceptible to corneal ulcer. Here are 12 expert tips to deal with dry eyes.
  • People wearing contact lenses (especially extended-wear contact lenses) are at a high risk of suffering from this eye condition.
The common signs and symptoms of corneal ulcer are –
  • Severe pain in the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Constant itching or irritation in the eyes
  • White discharge from the eyes
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Blurred vision (Read about 14 causes of blurred vision you might not know about)
  • Formation of a round white patch on the cornea.
A corneal ulcer can be diagnosed by a careful eye examination. However, your doctor might recommend few diagnostic tests to confirm and know the severity of your condition. These tests include -
  • Slit lamp examination: Your eye specialist will detect ulcer in the cornea through examining your eye using a special microscope known as slit lamp. In this process, a drop of flurorescein dye is added to your for better visibility of the ulcer.
  • Corneal s****ing with culture of sample: To detect the type of the infection causing corneal ulcer, your doctor might recommend this test. In this, samples of the ulcer (which is obtained by s****ping a minute layer of the infected eye) are sent to laboratory to know the exact cause of the ulcer.
  • Corneal biopsy: This test is recommended if your doctor feel that you might be suffering from corneal ulcer but results of corneal s****ping have been negative. It involves surgical removal of infected corneal tissue under local anaesthesia.
Depending upon the severity of the condition, your doctor might recommend the treatment options such as medications and surgery. However, some cases of corneal ulcer can be effectively treated by following self-care practices at home.

Self-care: The self-care practices that aid in the treatment of corneal ulcer include –
  • If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them and wash your eyes with cold water.
  • You can relieve the pain and redness of the eye by applying cold compresses to the affected eye.
  • Avoid rubbing the infected eye as it won’t help in relieving infection and will only worsen the condition.
  • Wash your hands properly to prevent the spread of a wide range of infections including eye problems.
Medications: Your doctor might recommend antibiotic eye drops to relieve symptoms of corneal ulcer caused by bacterial infection. However, the dosage is dependent on the severity of the infection. In some cases, oral pain relievers are also prescribed to ease pain in the eyes.

Surgery: In case, corneal ulcer is not treated with medications and self-care procedures, your doctor might recommendsurgical procedure known as a corneal transplant. The latest advancements in the treatment of corneal ulcers i.e., cornea transplant surgery techniques are partial and full thickness transplant and stem cell transplant.

If left untreated, corneal ulcers might increase your risk of suffering from various eye conditions such as -
  • Severe loss of vision
  • Scars on the cornea
  • In rare cases, loss of the affected eye is also possible
A wide range of devastating eye diseases including corneal ulcer can be prevented by following few simple yet effective precautions such as –
  • Always wear eye protection (sunglasses or spectacles) while travelling or working to prevent exposure to fine particles, which might cause corneal ulcer.
  • If you wear contact lenses, follow proper guidelines while cleaning and wearing them to avoid eye infections.
  • In case you are suffering from dry eyes, keep your eyes lubricated with the help of artificial tears.
  • You should consult an ophthalmologist immediately, if you feel irritation or pain in the eyes (even after washing your eyes with water and cold compression).

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