What is a Corneal Ulcer?
A corneal ulcer is a condition characterized by an open sore on the cornea (clear, protective outer layer of the eye).
The common symptoms and signs of corneal ulcers include:
- Pain in the eye
- Feels as though something is in the eye
- Red eye
- Blurred vision
- Pus or discharge appears in the cornea
What Causes Corneal Ulcer?
This condition is most commonly caused by infections. Bacterial, viral (herpes simplex virus or varicella virus) and fungal infections may cause corneal ulcers. Injury and trauma can also bring about an ulcerated cornea. If glass particles or a sharp object strikes the cornea, the corneal surface may become scratched, damaged or cause an abrasion, creating a breeding ground for bacteria – and as a result, cause the corneal ulcer.
Certain eye disorders such as dry eyes and disorders that are due inadequate eyelid closure such as Bell’s palsy may also lead to corneal ulcers. Other factors such as chemical burns, harsh solution splashes, and wearing contacted lenses for extended periods without removing them at night will also increase your risk of developing corneal ulcers or lesions.
In addition, improper care of contact lenses and excessive use of eye drops that contain steroids can make you susceptible to corneal ulcers and damage the cornea. If left untreated, serious eye complications such as corneal scarring and intraocular infection may develop.
Diagnosing Corneal Ulcer
The diagnosis and treatment of a corneal ulcer is based on the symptoms presented, thorough eye examination and a review of the patient’s medical history. Your ophthalmologist will apply fluorescein dye which stains the ulcer and makes easier to examine and confirm a diagnosis. Additional testing such as culture and sensitivity testing of corneal scraping may also be performed to identify the bacteria or fungus causing the corneal ulcer.
Help for Corneal Ulcer
The treatment of corneal ulcers generally depends on the underlying cause. Treatment involves antibiotic, antiviral or antifungal drugs to relieve pain and prevent further complications. Certain over-the- counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also be used to as pain relievers. In more severe cases, corneal transplantation may be required.
Natural treatments such as herbal and homeopathic remedies can also promote healthy vision, strengthen blood capillaries in the eye and prevent eye sensitivity without doing further harm. Homeopathic remedies are gentle and safe to use, and provide relief when it is needed most.
Carefully selected homeopathic ingredients such as Euphrasia, Pulsatilla, Psorinum, Merc sol and Graphites reduces symptoms and promotes clear, healthy vision. Other well known homeopathic ingredients such as Calendula, Agrimony and Arg nit help to soothe and calm irritated eyes.