Involving disruption of the corneal epithelial layer, corneal ulcer is one of the most common eye problems. Other names for this ocular condition contain ulcerative keratitis and eyesore. This can be an inflammatory or infective condition. In particular, people living in the tropics and the agrarian societies are more susceptible to this problem. There are a wide variety of contributing factors.
Eye infection is a major cause
Bacterial infections from eye injury and trauma are common causes of corneal ulcer, which has symptoms such as red eye, painful eye, and discharge and vision reduction. In addition, people wearing contact lenses are more probably to develop eye irritation and infection, since the lenses may rub the eyes’ surface. Contact lenses wearers must take good hygiene.
In particular, people with a trauma experience are more likely to suffer from ulcer caused by fungal keratitis. Fungal keratitis can be diagnosed with microscopic evaluation of specially stained specimens. Anti-fungal agents are always applied both topically and orally to treat this type of ulcer.
Some other causes of corneal ulcer
Fungi and parasites are also commonly reported as possible causes of corneal ulcers, e.g. Fusarium and Acanthamoeba. Fusarium is always associated with certain type of lenses solution that brings fungal keratitis outbreak and Acanthamoeba can be caused by swimming with contact lenses. Some other reasons for corneal ulcers include herpes virus infection, dry eye, eye allergies and immune system disorder. Scientific researches also point out that children living in developing countries are at high risk for corneal ulcer because of Vitamin A deficiency. And lifelong blindness may be caused.
About diagnosis and treatment
An immediate visit to an eye doctor is necessary if there is any sign of corneal ulcer. After a certain type of cornea ulcer is diagnosed, it further requires the patient to visit the doctor every one to three days. The determination of ulcer type depends on its size and location. Ulcer on the central cornea is more bothersome that it may bring scarring and vision damage, even if a proper treatment is applied. Optimal treatment relies highly on a proper diagnosis. For instance, bacterial corneal ulcer requires a therapy of intensive fortified antibiotic which treats exactly the infection. There are some other specific treatments for corneal ulcer.