corneal ulcer

The corneal ulcer - A break, erosion, or open sore in the cornea. It usually affects the outer layer of the cornea, but in some cases may penetrate down to the middle layer.

Corneal ulcers are commonly caused by a corneal abrasion. They may also be due to chemical damage, or infection with bacteria, fungi, or viruses (particularly herpes virus).

Eye conditions such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca and eyelid deformities such as entropion or ectropion increase the risk of an ulcer. Ulcers are revealed by introducing fluorescein dye into the eye. Infections and predisposing eye conditions are treated according to their cause.

A superficial, noninfectious ulcer usually heals quickly; if it fails to do so, it may be treated with a “bandage’’ contact lens or with tarsorrhaphy (temporary sealing of the eyelids).


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