Corneal Ulcers

The cornea of our eyes is a thin, transparent membrane that protects the interior of the eye. The surface of the cornea is called the epithelium. If there is a defect or break in this outer layer, the underlying layer called the stroma can develop a corneal ulcer. These ulcers are usually caused by microorganisms that have gained access to the stroma through the break in the epithelium.

Corneal ulcers can be treated effectively if they are treated early. Otherwise these can be serious issues and can threaten your vision in that eye. We treat corneal ulcers at Central Valley Eye Medical Group.

How do I know if I have a corneal ulcer?

A corneal ulcer will show itself with a variety of symptoms. They can be mistaken for other conditions, however, so it’s best to come see us if you have these issues:

  • Watery eyes
  • Acute pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Discharge from the eye
  • The feeling there is something in your eye

What causes a corneal ulcer?

There are a variety of ways you can develop a corneal ulcer. Some you can head off with better contact lens care. Others, not so much.

  • Infection
  • Wearing contact lenses for excessive period of time
  • Inadequate contact lens sterilization
  • Eye injury
  • Lack of tear production
  • Complications of herpes simplex keratitis, neurotrophic keratitis, chronic blepharitis, conjunctivitis, trachoma, bullous keratopathy, and cicatricial pemphigoid
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Protein deficiency
  • Congenital eyelid abnormalities


Corneal ulcers are a serious issue for your eyes. If left untreated, these ulcers can penetrate the cornea allowing infection to enter the eyeball. This can cause permanent loss of vision and can even lead to losing the eye.

However, if we can treat these early on at Central Valley Eye Medical, they are usually curable in just two to three weeks. Our typical treatment is antibiotic eye drops. If there is a good deal of inflammation, we may also use topical steroids to decrease the risk of scarring.

If you have any of the symptoms of a corneal ulcer, please call us immediately at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, (800) 244-9907.

Posted in: Corneal Disease


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