The cornea is the transparent tissue that covers the front of the eye. A corneal ulcer occurs when there is an open sore on the cornea. The most common cause of a corneal ulcer is an infection, which can be due to bacteria, viruses, fungi, or a parasite.
Corneal ulcers can be quite uncomfortable. In addition to eye pain, symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision
- Red or bloodshot-appearing eyes
- Feeling like something is in the eye
- Sensitivity to light.
Prompt treatment is important to prevent scarring of the cornea and loss of vision. However, permanent vision loss sometimes occurs even when treatment is prompt. The specific type of treatment will depend on the exact cause of the corneal ulcer.
Ocuflox is just one of several possible treatment options. This medication is used to treat corneal ulcers caused by bacteria. It will not treat other corneal ulcer causes, such as viral or fungal infections. Other eye drops may be used in addition to Ocuflox to treat the symptoms of a corneal ulcer, including pain and inflammation.
Ocuflox belongs to a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones, or "quinolones" for short. Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics used to kill bacteria that cause infections. Ocuflox works by blocking an important bacterial enzyme called DNA gyrase. This enzyme is required for the bacteria to make DNA, which is important for the bacteria to multiply.
Ocuflox is approved for use in children as young as one year old. Although there are concerns about possible bone, joint, or tendon problems with the use of oral fluoroquinolones in children, topical use in the eyes is believed to be safe.