Corneal ulcers, or keratitis, can form due to trauma to the cornea, eyelid disease, severe dry eye, fungus, herpes simplex viral infections, and in patients who wear contact lenses.
There are two very common types of corneal ulcers. Bacterial ulcers tend to be the most painful type of corneal ulcer, and in some cases, if left untreated, can cause severe damage or even corneal perforation. Sterile ulcers, on the other hand, usually cause little or no pain.
Poor contact lens hygiene, sleeping in contact lenses, or over wear can lead to an infection resulting in a corneal ulcer.
The symptoms of corneal ulcers may include:
Treatment for corneal ulcers depends on the cause. It usually includes antibiotics, and in some cases, steroid and anti-inflammatory eye drops. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary in order to administer eyedrops every hour around the clock, intravenous antibiotics, and other treatments. In rare cases when the cornea is severely damaged, a corneal transplant may be necessary to improve vision.