Corneal Ulcer Information
A Corneal Ulcer
is a condition of the eye that occurs when the cornea becomes damaged.
These ulcers can either be infected by bacteria or be sterile, but either way they are unpleasant and require immediate medical attention. Sometimes, an ulcer is also accompanied by a buildup of fluid around the area, which is known as an infiltrate. This can make the cornea appear to be swollen.
The first thing that an ophthalmologist will do is determine if the corneal ulcer is infectious. When there is an infection involved the condition is immediately much more serious, because while the ulcer does not antagonize the cornea too much, a bacterial infection has the power to cause severe damage to the eye, and if it is initially left untreated you can go blind in less than two days.
Infected ulcers are also much more painful, and the pain can sometimes be debilitating. The outer layer of the Cornea is usually broken and penetrated by this invasive bacteria and this intrusion can cause dangerous inflammation along the inner wall of the cornea.
While that really sounds like something you don't want to get, a non-infected corneal-ulcer will typically cause no pain, and probably won't even affect your vision that much. Most of the time they appear at the outer edge of the cornea and the outer layer, which gets shredded by an infection, is usually left unaffected.
So how do you get a corneal ulcer?
There are a lot of different types of ulcers that affect the eyes, and people who wear Contact Lenses are at the most risk of getting an ulcer, especially if they don't always take the proper precautions when cleaning their lenses. Contact lenses always need to be disinfected with the proper solution.
The soft variety can easily absorb bacteria because they are extremely porous and soak up a lot of water anyway. Ensuring that your contacts and case are always sterilized in the proper contact solution will greatly minimize your risk of getting an infection.
The symptoms of a corneal ulcer can vary a lot depending if the ulcer is infected or not, but typically you might experience:
- Unusual Discharge
- Red Eyes
- Intense Blinding Pain
- Moderate Pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Small spots of white on the cornea
When a doctor is looking at an eye that might have a this condition, he or she will use a special tool called a slit lamp microscope. If you have an ulcer, and if it appears to be infected, the ophthalmologist will need to get a sample of the bacteria, and to do this they have to numb your eye and then scrape the surface of the cornea to pull some of the bacteria culture off the top.
This can be really frightening, so protecting your eyesight from a young age is an excellent way to avoid having any of this happen to you.
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Corneal Ulcer to Eye Conditions
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