The cornea is present as a clear tissue that is located at the front of the eye. A corneal ulcer occurs when there is a sore in the layer of the cornea. Symptoms of this include redness, drainage, visual disturbances, sensitivity to light, itching and discomfort.
Causes and Effects of Corneal Ulcers
The most common cause of a corneal ulcer is infection. This can occur following damage to the eye. Other possible causes include fungi, eye dryness, a scratch in the eye, an inflammatory disorder, allergic eye disorders, and viruses.
Contact lens wearers are especially prone to corneal ulcers, especially if they wear their contacts while sleeping or while swimming.
Changes in vision may take place after a corneal ulcer has healed. It can also cause long term damage to the vision and even a loss of the eye itself. In some cases a corneal transplant may even be necessary. This is why it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible after noticing any symptoms.
Treatment of Corneal Ulcers
After examination of the eye, the eye care professional will determine what type of treatment is needed. If the corneal ulcer was caused by bacteria the doctor will likely prescribe a topical antibiotic for the eye. Culture of the eye drainage may be taken for further examination. If the doctor suspects a fungal infection topical anti-fungal medication may be needed. If the corneal ulcer is severe, oral agents may also be prescribed.