Ulcerative keratitis or corneal ulcer, is the disruption of the epithelial layer of the cornea, either due to severe inflammation or infection. Although rare in developed countries, it is a common condition in the tropics and in agricultural environments.

The primary cause of ulcerative keratitis is Vitamin A deficiency. However, it can be caused by any type of infection and can also be due to trauma, particularly when vegetable matter strikes the eye.

Mild ulcerative keratitis will heal itself if the underlying cause is treated.  However, severe keratitis can result in blindness. It can also be very painful as it usually affects the nerves around the eyeball and in the eyelid as well.  

Corneal ulcer at Wikipedia

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