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Eye diseases

Eye ulcers

ulceras corneales
They are caused by trauma, infection or dry eyes, among others.
Poor contact lens use and hygiene poses a risk factor.
They can cause serious and permanent damage to the cornea.

What are eye ulcers?

Eye ulcers or corneal ulcers are lesions that affect the cornea (outer, transparent layer of the eye) and usually occur in its most superficial part, known as the corneal epithelium.

We are talking about open wounds that can have an infectious or non-infectious onset and whose severity depends on their cause, depth and location (inside or outside the visual axis).

Treating them properly and early is essential to prevent them from causing permanent and severe damage, hence leaving scars and effects on vision that may require a corneal transplant.

One of the main causes of eye ulcers is eye trauma, either from wounds or burns on the eye surface. Ulcers resulting from infections by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites are also common, whereas autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and other diseases such as diabetes can also promote their emergence.

You are also at higher risk of developing eye ulcers or corneal ulcers if:

  • You have dry eye
  • Your eyelids are swollen (blepharitis) or do not close properly due to malposition, such as lagophthalmos, entropion and ectropion.
  • You are a contact lens wearer, especially if you do not follow proper hygiene measures and guidelines for use.

Prevention is key to avoiding these types of injuries, such as wearing protective glasses that avoid trauma, moisturising your eyes with lubricating eye drops or avoiding putting on or taking off your contact lenses without washing your hands. It is also especially important not to take a bath or shower with your lenses on, as this can lead to infectious ulcers caused by a parasite or particularly aggressive bacteria that can cause serious damage to vision.

Moreover, you should see an ophthalmologist quickly, if you have any symptoms that make you suspect a corneal ulcer, so that you can take early action to avoid complications.

Treatment of eye ulcers will depend on the factor causing them. Based on this, in some cases we may prescribe antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication or, if the wounds do not heal, treatments such as Endoret eye drops, which we prepare at the Miranza clinics. On other occasions, it may be necessary to perform an amniotic membrane transplantation (layer of the human placenta with regenerative properties).