If you consider your eye as a camera, your cornea is the lens that focuses the image on to the film behind it. The cornea is a clear covering in front of the eye which focuses the light on the lens of the eye. When the cornea becomes injured due to blunt force trauma or any other accident, the injury can become inflamed and infected, causing a sore to form in the eye. Ophthalmologists in Dubai term this eyesore as a corneal ulcer.
Corneal ulcers are mostly caused by infection. One of the most common reasons that lead to the corneal ulcer is continuous use of contact lenses, like wearing them to bed. A corneal ulcer is a serious medical condition requiring immediate medical attention. If the treatment is delayed, it can lead to vision loss in your eye.
Risk factors and Causes
As mentioned earlier, people who wear contact lenses regularly are at higher risk of contracting corneal ulcer. People suffering from cold sores and chicken pox are known to develop higher susceptibility to corneal ulcers. Steroid eye drops, dry eyes, eyelid disorders etc are also known risk factors for a corneal ulcer.
A corneal ulcer occurs following trauma in the eye. The trauma and resulting injuries pave way for viral, bacterial or fungal infection in the eye.
Bacterial infection is found in people who leave their contact lens for an extended period in their eyes. Viral infection, on the other hand, is cased as a result of cold sores while fungal infections are found as a result of improper hygiene of the contact lenses or continuous use of steroid eye drops.
A corneal ulcer may show one or more of the following symptoms if present –
- Itching and burning of the eye
- Bloodshot eye
- Light sensitivity
- Discharge from the eye
- Watery eye
- Blurred vision
- Watery eye
- Inflammation in the eyes
Diagnosis and Treatment
A corneal ulcer can be diagnosed through a dye test using fluorescein to light up any damage to your cornea. Sometimes, your ophthalmologist will also collect a sample of your corneal tissue to confirm the diagnosis.
With the confirmation of the condition, an antibiotic eye drop is prescribed until the exact cause of the ulcer is determined. Once the culture results are out, the eye specialist will prescribe medicated eye drops for the condition, including oral medication.
If the infection has proceeded to the next level and is untreatable through medication, a corneal transplant, either partial or complete, is performed on the patient for better chances at recovery.
Preventing Corneal ulcer
Since one of the foremost reasons for a corneal ulcer is the improper use of contact lenses, proper hygiene and usage are recommended for keeping away from contracting the diseases. Before attempting to wear the contact lens, remember to properly wash your hands. Use commercial contact lens cleaning solution always and sterilize them before and after use. Never wear them for more than 8 hours at a stretch and avoid going to bed wearing your contact lenses.
Apart from that, a corneal ulcer can be prevented by following these steps-
- Wash your face before going to bed at night
- Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes if you suffer from dry eyes
- Use protective eyewear when you are dealing with airborne particles or dust
If you happen to suffer from an eye injury or any symptoms of an eye infection, consult ophthalmologists in Dubai at the earliest to avoid potential risks.