Corneal ulceration affects the eye and its vision. The signs and symptoms include the following:
A dye known as flurorescein is used to appropriately study the ulceration in the corneal region. The eyes are examined using a special microscope known as slit lamp. This lamp enables the ophthalmologist to completely and minutely study the cornea and make the diagnosis. Tests to study the tear production also need to be done.
A blood test may be carried out to determine the presence of any inflammatory disorders. In addition to these tests, the following diagnostic procedures are useful to study corneal ulceration.
The treatment regime for corneal ulcer is cause dependant. It is necessary to initiate treatment as soon as diagnosis is made in order to avoid further damage to the eyes. If the infection is the source then antibiotic drops are administered. In addition, eye drops containing corticosteroids are also prescribed in order to reduce the pain and inflammation .
In certain cases, oral pain relieving medications may also be prescribed. Ophthalmic pain relieving solutions like bromfenac has been most effective and does not interfere with the corneal epithelialization process of healing . Neurotrophic ulcers may benefit from the topical application of nerve growth factors on the cornea . Severe cases of ulceration may call for a corneal transplant.
The use of a tectonic graft in the repair of corneal thinning and perforation has exemplified a good visual rehabilitation post operatively . However, with prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment regime a transplant can be avoided.
Prognosis of the disease condition is usually good with proper treatment regime. Some individuals completely recover, but can suffer minor changes in the eye vision . However, some individuals in whom the condition has turned severe can cause irreversible damages to eye which cannot be treated.
It is necessary to immediately treat any underlying infection of the eye to prevent the development of corneal ulcers. Failure to do so can cause life threatening complications such as:
In addition to these infectious agents, there are also other factors that cause corneal ulcers. These include:
Corneal ulcer is a common problem caused either due to infections or due to other associated disease conditions. It has been stated that this form of eye disorder is one of the leading cause of blindness in the developing countries.
About 11.3 per 10,000 populations are known to suffer from corneal ulcer. Research also led to the finding that, during the period of 1997 to 2007 there was a significant increase in the incidence of viral ulceration.
Individuals with a suppressed immune system fall easy prey to infections and develop corneal ulcerations. Individuals who wear contact lenses and that too for long duration are more prone to develop sores in the cornea.
The condition further aggravates when individuals make use of homemade lens solution. Such a solution is not sterile in nature and can be contaminated from various agents. The use of such non sterile homemade solution can call for development of corneal ulcers.
Any injury to the cornea of the eye by use of physical agents such as make up brush, fingernails, and branches of the tree can result in development of wound which can lead to corneal ulcers.
Prevention is the best way to avoid corneal ulcerations. Adopting the following practices can help keep corneal ulceration at bay.
Corneal ulcer in common terms can be described as development of open sores in the corneal region of the eye. This condition is also termed as ulcerative keratitis, marked by development of erosion in the outer layer of the cornea due to infection.
Corneal ulcers are generally associated with disease conditions such as Sjogren syndrome, Mooren ulcer, systemic vasculitic disorder and rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis and Harada disease may also be associated with paracentral corneal melting . Severe dry eyes and other disorders of the eye predispose an individual to develop corneal ulcers.
Corneal ulcers are open sores that develop in the cornea of the eye. It is a common condition and mostly affects those who wear contact lens. Infections are the major causative factor.
Infection due to bacteria, virus, parasites and fungi are the major factors for development of corneal ulcers. In addition, individuals who make use of contact lenses and improperly handle the same also fall prey to this condition. Dry eyes are also more prone to develop corneal ulcers.
Diagnosis involves examining the eyes by staining the cornea using fluroescein dye. The eyes are then studied using slit lamp microscope. Blood tests are done for evaluating the source of infection. In addition to these, tests to examine the vision and refraction test are also carried out.
Treatment is geared towards the cause of the condition. If infection is the source then antibiotic drops are administered. Other eye drops that contain corticosteroids are also given along with oral medications to relieve pain and inflammation.