The cornea is the clear tissue at the front of the eye. A corneal ulcer is an open sore in the outer layer of the cornea. It is often caused by infection.
Most corneal ulcers are caused by infections:
Corneal ulcers or infections may also be caused by:
Symptoms of infection or ulcers of the cornea include:
Antibiotics, antifungal or antiviral eyedrops are the mainstay of treatment. Sometimes antifungal tablets will be prescribed, or an injection of medication is given near the eye for treatment.
Once any infection has diminished or is gone, then steroid or anti-inflammatory eyedrops may be used to reduce swelling and help prevent scarring. The use of steroid eyedrops is controversial and should only be used under close supervision by your ophthalmology. It is possible that steroid eyedrops may worsen an infection.
Oral pain medication may be prescribed to reduce pain.
If corneal ulcers cannot be treated with medication, surgery may be needed to keep your vision. A corneal transplant can replace your damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea to restore vision.
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