Corneal Ulcer: Know Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Method For This Eye Infection

If you get blurred vision or cloud like formation in your cornea, it could be corneal ulcer, read to know its causes, symptoms and treatment methods.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Aug 29, 2021Updated at: Aug 29, 2021
Corneal Ulcer: Know Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Method For This Eye Infection

Eye is one of the most delicate parts of our body. Therefore even little disruption can cause problems and health issues regarding eyes. Most of us rub our eyes if anything gets into it or we feel tired but it is a wrong practise. A corneal ulcer is an open sore that occurs on the surface of cornea. Cornea is a transparent area that is in front of the eyes which is like a protection for the eyes. It also refracts the light and prevents eyes from major inflammation. Corneal ulcer can become critical and result in vision loss if not taken care off. It needs to be avoided if possible and should be treated immediately if you have it. Today, we will discuss about corneal ulcer and know about this disease in detail.

What Causes Corneal Ulcer?

According to Dr. Savita Tripathi, Department of ophthalmology from AIIMS Hospital, New Delhi explains this eye disease. She says that this condition is serious because there is always a chance of vision loss as the infection increases. In corneal ulcer the eyes get inflamed which causes a white substance to form in front of the eyes. This cloudy substance affects the eyes largely and causes pain in the eyes. 


Corneal ulcers are very sensitive and should be rubbed or poked under any circumstances. This eye disorder needs urgent treatment as it increases with time. It causes severe redness and one should avoid looking at bright lights in this condition. According to her this infection is caused because of germs and because of lack or blinking which allows bacteria to move inside the eyes.

Symptoms of Corneal Ulcers

You may notice some symptoms that are signs for corneal ulcers. These symptoms may be very common or could be very serious; depending on the situation treatment needs to be done. Symptoms of an initial infection include-

  • Itchiness in eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Pus-like discharge from eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness in eyes
  • Burning sensation or stinging effect in eye

Symptoms for major corneal ulcers include-

  • Blurred vision
  • Swollen eyes
  • Sensitivity of light
  • Pus discharge from eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Eye inflammation
  • Eyelids get swollen
  • Sore eyes
  • Feeling an foreign body in the eyes

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Treatment for Corneal Ulcers

This is a serious disease and treatment is important as it may spread more if it is not treated on time. Corneal ulcers can be problematic hence doctors prescribe first line of treatments to be anti-bacterial and anti-fungal medications which can treat or reduce the underlying problem. If the infection goes worse, then the doctor may put some high dosage anti-bacterial eye-drops in your eyes to reduce this problem while they test the ulcer scrapings from the infection.


In most cases the eyes of patient are swollen and inflamed which increases over time without treatment. For inflammation another eye drop known as corticosteroid is given. Dr. Savita Tripathi exclaims, for the period a person has this disease, he needs to avoid these things-

  • Wearing make-up
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Taking other than any prescribed medication
  • Touching your eyes unnecessarily

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Corneal Transplant

When the first line of treatment is done and no significant improvement is shown in the patient, then corneal transplant is done. This is only done in the case of severe patients suffering from this disease. This treatment process involves surgical method of removing the corneal tissue to replace it with a donor tissue. Corneal transplant needs to be done in the case where the whole tissue gets infected by the bacterial infection and replacement is the only option left. This surgical process also has some risks involved with it. The complications are-

  • Rejection of donor tissue by the body
  • Development of glaucoma inside the eyes
  • Eye infection
  • Cataracts
  • Swelling of the cornea

Tips to Prevent Corneal Ulcers

Corneal Ulcers can be prevented if proper treatment is given to the patient as soon as light symptoms start getting visible or felt. Some preventive measure suggested by eye specialist are-

  • Wash your hands well before you touch your eyes
  • Rinse your eyes to remove anything that goes inside rather than rubbing your eyes
  • Avoid sleeping wearing your contact lenses
  • Clean and sterilize your contact lenses before and after wearing them 
  • Do not strain your eyes too much, take rest and keep blinking your eyes
  • Use some eye drops prescribed by a doctor for daily use to maintain health of eyes and preventing any bacterial infection.

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