Eye Diseases and Conditions

Picture of Corneal Ulcer

Picture of Corneal Ulcer

Most corneal ulcers are caused by infections and can be bacterial (common in people who wear contact lenses), viral herpes simplex virus and varicella virus, or fungal (improper care of contact lenses or overuse of eyedrops that contain steroids). Symptoms include red eyes, pain, feeling like something is in the eye, tearing, pus/thick discharge, blurry vision, pain from bright lights, swollen eyelids, or a white or gray round spot on the cornea. Self-treatment consists of removing contact lenses, applying a cool compress to the affected eye, washing hands often, and OTC pain medications such Tylenol or Motrin. Anyone with a corneal ulcer should be seen immediately by an ophthalmologist, who will do testing and most likely prescribe antibiotic and other eyedrops. If the ulcer persists or worsens, a surgical procedure known as corneal transplantation may be performed.

Reviewed by Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS on September 17, 2009

Image Source: Dr. Andrew A. Dahl, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Text: eMedicineHealth - Corneal Ulcer, WebMD - Corneal Ulcer