What Causes Corneal Ulcers In The Eyes?
For our patients in San Antonio, TX to enjoy great vision, it is important to have a healthy cornea. When the cornea becomes infected or diseased, this could lead to vision problems and, in severe cases, even blindness. At Focal Point Vision, our team knows how important it is to give our patients the best possible healthcare. This includes corneal ulcer treatment. For patients with corneal disease, our board-certified doctors offer up-to-date eye care with the best equipment available.
What does the cornea do?
The cornea is made of proteins with several layers that all play an important role in how the eye functions. To see well, all layers of the cornea must be free of cloudy areas. The cornea shields the eye from harm while protecting it from germs. It also helps to screen out damaging ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Think of it as a camera lens. When light enters your eyes, the cornea bends the light so that it can pass freely through the iris. This is why the corneal shape is so important for eye health. Corneal disease occurs when a medical condition or other source damages the cornea.
What is a corneal ulcer?
Most corneal ulcers are caused by an eye infection. With these ulcers, our patients at Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX experience mild to severe eye pain and discharges. Those who wear contact lenses are more susceptible to ulcers when bacteria get trapped in their lens. Practice good hand and eye hygiene to prevent the development of corneal ulcers.
What causes corneal ulcers?
There are many reasons why corneal ulcers develop, including:
Infection: This is the main cause of these ulcers. Acanthamoeba keratitis is an infection that occurs mostly with contact lens wearers. This amoebic infection is rare, but if left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
Herpes simplex keratitis: This viral infection causes flare-ups caused by prolonged sun exposure, stress, or anything that weakens the immune system.
Fungal keratitis: This fungal infection develops after an injury to the cornea occurs from a plant or plant material.
Dry eye syndrome: This can lead to sores on the cornea when left untreated.
Vitamin A deficiency: Vitamin A affects eye health, and when you lack it, it can lead to the development of corneal diseases, such as corneal ulcers.
Corneal ulcer symptoms
Some common symptoms of a corneal ulcer include:
Itchy or watery eye
Burning or stinging
Any corneal ulcer symptoms are severe and need to be treated by our team at Focal Point Vision immediately to prevent blindness.
How is a corneal ulcer diagnosed?
Our doctors can check for a corneal ulcer with a fluorescein eye stain. We place orange dye onto a blotting paper and transfer the dye to the eye. A slit lamp is used to shine light onto the eye to look for damage to your cornea. Any corneal damage will show up as green when the violet light hits it. We can determine the cause of your corneal ulcer by scraping it to get a sample for testing.
What is corneal ulcer treatment?
Once we determine the cause of your ulcer, we can prescribe you the necessary antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral eye medication. For bad infections, we may give you antibacterial eye drops. Corticosteroid eye drops can be used for swollen and inflamed eyes. During treatment, you must avoid wearing makeup, wearing contact lenses, and touching your eye. In severe cases, you may need a corneal transplant, which requires removing your existing corneal tissue and replacing it with donor tissue.
Learn about corneal ulcer treatment
When you meet with the board-certified ophthalmologists at Focal Point Vision, we can address your concerns and create a custom treatment plan to treat your corneal ulcer. We work hard to ensure our patients’ vision remains its best in San Antonio, TX. If you have any signs of cornea disease or a corneal ulcer, it’s important to call our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.