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Eye Diseases and Conditions

Picture of Corneal Ulcer

Picture of Corneal Ulcer

Corneal ulcers are open sores that develop on the outer layer of the cornea. They are usually caused by infection by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. Other potential causes of corneal ulcers include dry eyes, trauma (scratches or foreign bodies in the eyes), severe allergic eye disease, and Bell's palsy (due to problems closing the eyelid).

Symptoms of corneal ulcers may include blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, itchiness, discharge, light sensitivity (photophobia), painful or watery eyes, and a white patch on the cornea.

Corneal ulcer treatment depends on the underlying cause of the condition and should be initiated promptly to avoid corneal scarring. A doctor may prescribe medication to treat the bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasitic infection. Corticosteroid eye drops may be used to reduce swelling and inflammation. Over-the-counter pain medications may be used to relieve discomfort.

Image Source: Dr. Andrew A. Dahl, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Text Reference: American Academy of Ophthalmology: “What Is a Corneal Ulcer?”