Another term for a corneal ulcer is ulcerative keratitis. It’s an open sore that occurs on your cornea. Your cornea is the clear, thin layer that covers your iris.
There are a lot of different scenarios that could cause a corneal ulcer. The most common cause is infections with parasites, viruses, fungi, or bacteria, especially with excessive contact lens use.
Another cause of corneal ulcers is an injury to your cornea. Severe dry eyes might cause enough damage to your cornea to result in an ulcer.
Scratches to your cornea could also result in an ulcer. A foreign object might lodge or penetrate your eye.
People who wear their contact lenses overnight might encounter a corneal ulcer. That’s because your contact cleaning solution or bacteria can get trapped under your contact lens. Wearing the lenses for long periods could block oxygen from getting to your cornea, increasing your likelihood of infection.Symptoms of Corneal Injury
Corneal ulcers present a wide range of symptoms. Common side effects include eye pain, redness, and a feeling like there’s something in your eye. You might also experience swollen eyelids, discharge from your eye, light sensitivity, or blurry vision.
You need to contact your eye doctor right away if you’re experiencing severe pain, vision changes, light sensitivity or eye discharge. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for vision problems if you’ve previously scratched your cornea or been around particles like glass or sand.
You’ll typically develop a corneal ulcer in only one of your eyes, not both. If left untreated, a corneal ulcer could rupture your cornea. It could also result in permanent vision loss. If you notice any of the above symptoms, you need to reach out to your eye doctor immediately.Our Specialist
Your eye doctor will diagnose a corneal ulcer using a slit lamp microscope. This type of microscope focuses a small sliver of light onto your eye. This tool is a typical part of your usual eye checkup appointment.
Your eye doctor might decide to put fluorescein dye into your eye. The dye is yellow and will pinpoint if your cornea is damaged.
They might also decide to take a sample of your eye tissue, especially if it’s infected. The lab culture results might show what type of infection you have and help guide your treatment plan.
Most corneal ulcers get treated with anti-infection medications. Surgery is a last resort if medications aren’t effective.
The type of medication prescribed for you will depend on what’s causing your eye infection. You may receive a prescription for eye drops, oral medication or even medication to manage the pain.
The team at Lehigh Eye Specialists has the skills and expertise needed to diagnose and treat a wide range of eye conditions, including corneal ulcers. We’ll determine the root cause of your corneal ulcer and prescribe the necessary medication to eliminate it.
If you’ve been referred to Lehigh Eye Specialists, you’ll find information and forms on our Patient Portal page to help you prepare for your visit. We look forward to welcoming you.Our Doctors Patient Resources
Dr. David DeRose is a highly skilled and compassionate ophthalmologist with a remarkable focus on corneal diseases. With extensive expertise and a passion for improving patients’ vision and eye health, Dr. DeRose is dedicated to providing personalized and cutting-edge treatments for a wide range of corneal conditions.About Dr. DeRose About Our Practice