The cornea is a clear layer of tissue at the front of the eye, which lets light enter the eye. A corneal ulcer, also known as keratitis, is an open sore that forms on the cornea. It is often due to a viral or bacterial eye infection, though it can also be the result of severe dry eye, an eye injury such as abrasions or burns, or other eye disorders.
Common symptoms associated with a corneal ulcer include:
- Severe pain.
- Eye redness.
- Watery eyes.
- A feeling like something is in your eye.
- Discharge or pus.
- Blurred vision.
- A round, white spot on your cornea.
Generally, individuals who wear contact lenses, have dry eye, use steroid eye drops, have eyelid disorders, or have had cold sores, chickenpox, or shingles are at greater risk for developing corneal ulcers. Be sure to contact our office as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms for prompt treatment.
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Dr. Gupta can diagnose a corneal ulcer during an eye exam. A specific test to check for this condition is a fluorescein eye stain. During this test, a drop of orange dye will be placed onto a piece of blotting paper. The blotting paper is then gently placed onto the surface of your eye, transferring the dye to your eye. A microscope called a slit lamp is then used to shine a special violet light into your eye to look for any damage to the cornea. Any corneal damage will show green under this violet light.
If an ulcer is detected on your cornea, Dr. Gupta will then try to determine the cause. This may involve numbing your eye with eye drops and collecting a sample of the ulcer for testing.
Treatment for a corneal ulcer will depend on the underlying cause. In many cases, an antifungal, antibacterial, or antiviral eye medication is prescribed. Corticosteroid eye drops may also be helpful for reducing eye inflammation and swelling. In more severe cases, a corneal transplant may be required. During this procedure, the corneal tissue will be surgically removed and then replaced with donor tissue.
If you develop any symptoms of an eye infection or injure your eye in any way, be sure to seek professional treatment as soon as possible to reduce the risk for complications such as corneal ulcers. There are also some daily practices that can help reduce your chances of developing an ulcer, including:
- Always washing your hands before touching your contacts or your eyes.
- Cleaning your contacts before and after wearing them.
- Never sleeping with your contact lenses in your eyes.
- Rinsing your eyes if any foreign objects enter them.
KNOW YOUR DOCTOR
Cataract Surgeon, Opthalmologist, Cornea & External Diseases Specialist
Dr. Archana Gupta is a board certified ophthalmologist. She specializes in cataract, cornea, external diseases and refractive surgery.
Are you expiring painful symptoms associated with a corneal ulcer? If so, please contact Advanced Eye Surgeons today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Gupta. We will work with you to diagnose and treat your symptoms in a timely fashion so you can return to your daily routine pain-free.
If you have a question or would like to schedule an appointment, please fill out and submit the form below.
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