A corneal ulcer typically occurs as a painful, red eye with mild to severe eye discharge and reduced vision.
The condition results from a localized Infectious Keratitis of the cornea similar to an abscess.
Causes of Corneal Ulcer
Most cases of corneal ulcer are due to a bacterial infection that invades the cornea — often following an eye injury, trauma or other damage.
A corneal ulcer can result from an infection following damage from an eye injury or irritation from an ill-fitting or dirty contact lens. Other causes are fungi, parasites, very dry eyes and eye allergies.
Contact lens wearers particularly are susceptible to eye irritation that can lead to a corneal ulcer. If you are a contact lens wearer, you can increase your chances of avoiding a corneal ulcer by practicing good hygiene such as washing your hands before handling lenses and following other safety tips.
Besides bacterial infection, other causes of corneal ulcers are fungi and parasites,
Contact lens wearers who fail to remove their lenses before swimming significantly increase their risk for a corneal ulcer from Acanthamoeba keratitis.
Another cause of corneal ulcer is herpes simplex virus infection which can damage exterior and sometimes even deeper layers of the eye’s surface.
Other underlying causes of corneal ulcers are severely dry eyes, eye allergies and widespread general infection. Immune system disorders and inflammatory diseases.
Evaluation and Treatment of Corneal Ulcers
Even if detected early and managed properly, some cases of corneal ulcers will require a cornea transplant, penetrating keratoplasty.
If you suspect you have a fungal eye infection, see your eye doctor immediately. Symptoms of fungal keratitis eye infection include:
People who seek medical help early are less likely to have permanent eye damage from fungal eye infections.
Here are a few tips recommended to reduce your risk of contact lens-related eye infections, including fungal keratitis: