Consultant Ophthalmologist,
Cataract & Refractive Surgeon

BMedSci BM BS MRCS MRCSEd MRCOpth FRCOphth MMedLaw PgD Cataract & Refractive Surgery

Corneal Ulcers

Font Size



If the central cornea is involved, vision will be dramatically reduced


Not necessarily, but there may be marked purulent discharge.




Yes. Small, mild ulcers may present solely with a foreign body sensation. Ulcers related to herpes virus, however, may be fairly painless because of damage to the corneal nerves.

Visual acuity?

If the ulcer is peripheral, then vision may be perfect. If the central cornea is involved, vision may be reduced only to the ability to count fingers or worse.

Where is the redness?

Small ulcers will be pinpointed by the presence of limbal injection in the quadrant adjacent to the position of the ulcer. If the ulcer is larger, the whole limbus will be red.

Stain on cornea?

Yes. The ulcer area will be stained, and the cornea around and under this area will be white-ish.


Reacts normally

Is the cornea clear?

No. The corneal tissue near to the ulcer will be white-ish.

Conjunctival appearance?