Corneal Ulcer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Windowofworld.com – Corneal ulcer are usually marked with spots or white areas that are in the black part of the eye. This condition should not be underestimated because it can interfere with vision and even cause blindness if not treated immediately.
Corneal ulcer is an open wound in the form of spots or white areas on the cornea. The cornea is the clear membrane lining the black parts of the eye and is the only path through which light is seen. Therefore, damage to the cornea will cause vision problems to blindness.
In addition to vision problems, corneal ulcers also cause several other symptoms, such as:
- The eyes feel sore and red
- The eye feels a lump
- The eyes are more sensitive to light
- Watery eyes more
Various Causes of Corneal Ulcer
The following are some of the factors that can cause corneal ulcers:
1. Bacterial infection
Most corneal ulcers are caused by bacterial infections. This is common in people who use contact lenses for too long or who do not care for their contact lenses properly.
In addition, bacteria can also accumulate on dirty contact lenses. Some types of bacteria can release toxins that can injure the cornea, even when the cornea is still intact.
2. Viral infection
In addition to bacterial infections, corneal ulcers can also be caused by viral infections that are not treated immediately or infections that continue to recur for a long time. Viral infections can recur if there are triggers, such as stress, decreased endurance, and sun exposure.
Viruses that can cause corneal ulcers are herpes simplex and varicella viruses, which are viruses that cause chickenpox and shingles.
3. Fungal infections
Corneal ulcers caused by fungal infections are actually not common. Typically, this occurs in eye injuries by plants, such as rice, branches or tree branches. In addition, fungal infections can also occur in the use of unhygienic contact lenses or in the use of excessive steroid eye drops.
4. Eye injury
Corneal ulcers can also occur due to injury to the eye. This often happens to welding workers or building materials that do not wear eye protection while working. Scratches or wounds caused by these injuries are very likely to be infected with bacteria, causing ulcers to form.
Exposure to chemicals can also cause injury to the corneal surface and cause corneal ulcers. The chemicals in question can be in the form of glass cleaner, detergent, or food vinegar that can be found everyday.
In addition to the above factors, corneal ulcers can also occur as complications in dry eyes, vitamin A deficiency, Bell’s palsy, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Corneal Ulcer Treatment and Prevention
Corneal ulcer treatment is tailored to the underlying cause. If a corneal ulcer is caused by an infection, the doctor prescribes eye drops that contain antibiotics, antivirals, or antifungals. In addition, if a corneal ulcer is accompanied by inflammation or swelling, the doctor will also prescribe steroid eye drops.
In eye injuries by foreign objects that are small, there is a possibility the object is still left in the eye. If this is found, the doctor will take the foreign object using special techniques. After that, patients will be given antibiotic eye drops to prevent bacterial infections due to exposure to foreign objects.
Corneal ulcers are important to prevent. Workers whose eyes are at risk of getting into small objects must wear eye protection while working. In addition, contact lens users must also understand the procedures for using and cleaning contact lenses that are good and right. Here are the ways:
- Always wash your hands before touching the lens.
- Always clean contact lenses before and after use.
- Avoid cleaning contact lenses for ingredients other than cleaning agents recommended by doctors, even tap water that looks clean.
- Avoid using contact lenses while sleeping.
- Remove contact lenses if eye irritation occurs and do not wear before the eyes heal.
Corneal ulcer is a serious medical condition. Immediate treatment is needed to prevent complications that lead to blindness. Therefore, if you experience signs or symptoms of corneal ulcer, immediately consult an ophthalmologist to get the right treatment.