Corneal ulcers and infections : Treatment

Treatment

Treating corneal ulcers and infections depends on the cause. They should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further injury to the cornea. Patients usually start treatment with antibiotic that is effective against many bacteria. More specific antibiotic, antiviral, or antifungal eye drops are prescribed as soon as the cause of the ulcer has been identified.

Corticosteroid eye drops may be used to reduce inflammation in certain conditions. Severe ulcers may need to be treated with corneal transplantation.

Prognosis (Expectations)

Untreated, a corneal ulcer or infection can permanently damage the cornea. Untreated corneal ulcers may also perforate the eye (cause holes), resulting in spread of the infection inside, increasing the risk of permanent visual problems.

Complications

  • Loss of the eye
  • Severe vision loss
  • Scars on the cornear

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Call your health care provider if you develop impaired vision, severe light sensitivity, or eye pain.


Review Date : 12/12/2008
Reviewed By : A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Paul B. Griggs, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (8/22/2008).

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