Corneal ulcers can arise spontaneously (primary) or they might result from some defect in the normal protective mechanism or sometimes they are part of a more generalised susceptibility to infection (secondary). The nerve endings in the cornea are pain-sensitive endings and a light touch is felt as a sharp pain. Furthermore, stimulation of these nerves causes a vigorous blink reflex and the eye begins to water excessively. An effective protective mechanism is therefore brought into action, which tends to clear away infection or foreign bodies and warns the patient of trouble. In most instances of corneal ulceration, the eye is painful, photo-phobic and waters. The conjunctiva is usually injected and there might be ciliary injection.
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