When there is erosion or sore formation on the cornea (outer layer) it is called corneal ulcer. This condition occurs due to infection on the eyes. The cornea is the protective covering of the eye which is made up of 5 layers. The outermost layer is called corneal epithelium; tough covering that protects the corneal stroma is called Bowman’s layer and the thick transparent layer in the middle made of collagen fibers is called corneal stroma. Next is the layer that serves as the basement membrane called Descemet’s membrane and finally a layer that contains sqamous cuboidal layer that manages the fluid level of the eye is called corneal endothelium.
Corneal Ulcer Causes :
The major cause of corneal ulcer is bacterial or viral infection. An amoebic infection (Acanthamoeba keratitis) develops on persons using contact lenses. Fungal infection can cause corneal ulcer causing corneal injury.
Infection can also happen in people with weakened immunity. Herpes simplex virus can also cause this type of infection. The virus would repeatedly attack the cornea causing continuous infection which is triggered by exposure to sunlight and stressful events. Overuse of corticosteroid eye drops can also lead to infection.
Corneal ulcers can also occur due to impairment of function of eyelids, when it does not close fully like Bell’s palsy. Presence of foreign particles like dust, hay, or tiny insects can cause irritation on the eyes causing ulcers. Eye injury or scratches on the surface of the eye can cause infection. Dryness on the eyes and allergic disorders can affect your eyes. If the person suffers from inflammatory disorders it can affect the eye causing infection.
In many cases, wearing contact lenses continuously and overnight can cause eye infection which may lead to ulcer. Contact lenses would slowly scrape the edges of the cornea causing ulcer which leads to the entry of bacteria. In addition, continuous wearing of lenses can disrupt normal blood flow on the corneal surface leading to ulcerous growth and infection.
Corneal ulcers can cause itching, watery discharge, blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, redness on the eyes, sensitivity to light, painful eyes and white scaly patches on the cornea.
Your ophthalmologist will examine the infected eye through special microscope to detect scrapings of ulcer. He will do refraction test or examine the eyes using slit lamp. For some people visual acuity test is administered. Blood test is also done for ruling out any inflammatory disorders in the body.
The doctor will give treatment according to the cause of the corneal ulcer. Once scratches are detected on the eyes, treatment is given immediately. Antibiotic eye drops are given for managing eye infection caused by bacteria. After detecting the exact cause, specific drops that kill virus or bacteria are given. Eye drops that contain steroids are given for reducing inflammation and irritation. In severe cases, corneal transplantation is done.
Corneal Ulcer Home Remedies :
- When you have corneal ulcer, avoid using eye makeup. Do not use any cream or lashes that may worsen the infection. If you are wearing contact lenses already, discontinue using it until the infection is cured. Over the counter painkillers can be taken for reducing eye pain.
- Wearing eye patch for protecting the eyes from strong lighting is recommended. It is good to wear protective glasses on your eyes while going out in hot sunlight.
Most of the corneal ulcers can be cured completely. In rare cases, it can cause temporary vision loss or corneal damage. If left untreated for long time, corneal ulcers can damage the vision or cause scars on the cornea.
Pictures of Corneal Ulcer :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Corneal Ulcer
By keeping your eyes clean and dirt-free you can prevent any type of eye infection. Always wash your hands properly before wearing and removing contact lenses. Avoid using contact lenses overnight. Contact lenses should be stored in proper disinfectant solutions when you are not using it.