When the very thin, delicate surface of the cornea has been scraped, or damaged by infection, a painful corneal ulcer may result. If you look hard in a good light, you may see a grayish or less shiny patch on the surface of the cornea.
If not well cared for, a corneal ulcer can cause blindness. Apply antibiotic eye ointment, 4 times a day for 7 days, give penicillin (p. 351), and cover the eye with a patch. If the eye is not better in 2 days, get medical help.
A corneal scar is a painless, white patch on the cornea. It may result from a healed corneal ulcer, burn, or other injury to the eye. If both eyes are blind but the person still sees light, surgery (corneal transplant) to one eye may return its sight. But this is expensive. If one eye is scarred, but sight is good in the other, avoid surgery. Take care to protect the good eye from injury.
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