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Corneal Ulcer

What is Corneal Ulcer?

A corneal ulcer is an open sore that appears as a grey-to-white region on the cornea, the transparent structure covering the colored part (iris) of your eye. A corneal ulcer can result from bacterial, viral or fungal infections. A corneal tear or scratch caused by trauma, sand particles, and glass or metal pieces make it easier for infections to take place. A corneal ulcer may also occur as a result of certain eye disorders that cause dryness, chemical burns, and the use of contact lenses for extended periods.

A corneal ulcer can cause severe pain, blurred vision, swollen eyelids, and discharge from the eyes. A visible white spot on the cornea and discomfort while looking at bright light are the other symptoms of a corneal ulcer.

A corneal ulcer can be diagnosed by using a special microscope called a slit lamp. Your eye care specialist will instill fluorescein dye into your eye to view the ulcer. A tissue sample may be withdrawn for laboratory analysis if the ulcer is a result of an infection. Your doctor may also conduct a visual acuity test, and tests for measuring the corneal curve and dryness of the eyes.

Treatment options for corneal ulcers include:

  • Medical management
  • Surgical management

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