Corneal Ulcer

What

A corneal ulcer is a wound in the surface of the eye.

The damage would be similar to a scrape or cut on your skin; both problems result in an unprotected wound. The normal cornea is covered by a layer of tissue called the epithelium, sort of like ‘skin’ over the deeper eye layers. When the epithelium is damaged, infections can occur and result in complete perforation of the eye if left untreated.

Symptoms

Clinical signs of a corneal ulcer include: squinting, redness, cloudiness, tearing, and lethargy.

Cause

There are many causes of corneal ulcers such as injuries, abnormal eyelashes that irritate the surface, lack of tear production, infections, and many types that we don’t understand very well. Corenal ulcers are characterised according to location, depth, associated diseases, and cause.

Treatment

Treatment of the ulcer depends on the type and depth of ulcer. Some corneal ulcers require simple application of medications to prevent infection and alleviate pain, whereas very deep corneal ulcers require surgically placed grafts to prevent a full thickness perforation.

Indolent ulcers (chronic erosions) are superficial ulcers that tend to heal very slowly unless special techniques are performed such as surgery or the placement of a bandage contact lens. Antibiotics are usually dispensed to prevent infections.

If you need any further advice, please contact Ian Cameron.

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