4 Possible Causes of Corneal Ulcers

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The cornea of the eye is the thin, clear part that covers the colored part (iris) of the eye. A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. These cause pain, redness, blurry vision, eye drainage, and many other symptoms. Not only are these ulcers uncomfortable, but they can become dangerous as well. Here are four common causes of corneal ulcers.

Bacteria

Many contact lens wearers contract bacterial infections from either improperly cleaning and sterilizing contact lenses, or from making their own cleaning solutions. It’s very important that lenses are cleaned according to cleanser and doctor instructions to avoid an ulcer caused by bacteria.

Viruses

Cold sore, chicken pox, and shingles viruses can cause ulcers to form on the cornea. As with other viral infections, stress, sunlight, and a lowered immune system can cause the problem to flare up again.

Fungi and Parasites

As with bacterial infections those who wear contact lenses are more likely to get a fungal or parasitic infection that can cause corneal ulcers. This may occur from improper use of steroid eyedrops or from plant material or amoeba in fresh water or soil entering the eye.

Abrasions

Injury to the eye that causes abrasions can become infected, leading to an ulcer. These abrasions can be caused by something as small as a grain of sand, fingernails, or small particles trapped under a contact lens.

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