A corneal ulcer (ulcerative keratitis/eyesore) is an open sore on the cornea.
The cornea is the window through which we see the world. It is the clear and round front part of the eye through which light passes. Damage to the cornea due to inflammation or injury produces an ulcer.
The ulcer can either be located in-
The centre of the cornea, where it greatly affects the vision
In the periphery, where it does not affect the vision very much
If left untreated, a corneal ulcer or infection can permanently damage the cornea. An untreated corneal ulcer may also result in perforation of the eye and introduction infection, increasing the risk of permanent visual impairment.
Corneal ulcer can occur due to vitamin A deficiency, infections of the eye, small tears on the cornea, chemical burns, extended use of contact lenses, dry eyes or ocular herpes. The ulcer can be extremely painful presenting with a white or gray spot on the cornea, red eye, swollen eyelids, excessive watering of the eye, pus discharge and blurry vision. Treatment of corneal ulcers and infections depends upon the cause. Corneal ulcer should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further injury to the cornea and alteration of vision.