Corneal ulcer

Revision as of 16:33, 5 October 2019 by ClaireLewis (talk | contribs)


Corneal ulcer without infection
  • Major cause of impaired vision and blindness worldwide
  • Break in epithelial layer allows infectious agents to gain access to the underlying stroma
  • Risk factors include: incomplete lid closure (e.g. secondary to Bell's palsy) and soft contact lens use (especially sleeping in contacts)


Clinical Features

  • Redness and swelling of lids and conjunctiva
  • Ocular pain or foreign body sensation
  • Decreased visual acuity (if located in central visual axis or uveal tract is inflamed)
  • Photophobia
  • Gray/white corneal lesion (will have fluorescein uptake)
  • Requires careful physical exam as 40% of lesions < 5mm
  • Hypopyon may be present
  • Iritis signs may be present (miotic pupil, consensual photophobia)


  • Corneal scarring
  • Corneal perforation
  • Anterior/posterior synechiae
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts

Differential Diagnosis

Unilateral red eye

^Emergent diagnoses ^^Critical diagnoses


  • Clinical



  • Discharge with ophtho followup within 24-48 hours