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What Are Peptic Ulcers

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Peptic ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine. Theyre usually formed as a result of inflammation caused by the bacteria H. pylori, as well as from erosion from stomach acids. Peptic ulcers are a fairly common health problem.

There are three types of peptic ulcers:

  • gastric ulcers:ulcers that develop inside the stomach
  • esophageal ulcers:ulcers that develop inside the esophagus
  • duodenal ulcers: ulcers that develop in the upper section of the small intestines, called the duodenum

Different factors can cause the lining of the stomach, the esophagus, and the small intestine to break down. These include:

  • Helicobacter pylori , a type of bacteria that can cause a stomach infection and inflammation
  • frequent use of aspirin , ibuprofen , and other anti-inflammatory drugs

What Are The Risks For People With Ulcers

Why do painkillers increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems? The same chemicals that amplify pain which some pain medicines block also help maintain the protective lining of the stomach and intestines. When a painkiller stops these chemicals from working, the digestive tract becomes more vulnerable to damage from gastric acids.

For people with ulcers, the risky pain relievers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. They include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen, the active ingredients in medicines such as Bufferin, Advil, and Aleve.

Other pain relievers may be less dangerous. Acetaminophen the active ingredient in Tylenol works differently and poses a much lower risk of GI problems. However, like any drug, it does have side effects of its own. You shouldnt take any over-the-counter painkiller for more than 10 days without your health care providers approval.

The risks from NSAIDs are quite serious. Studies show that people who use NSAIDs are about three times as likely to have gastrointestinal bleeding. Even at low doses, NSAIDs can make mild ulcers much worse.

Aspirin has additional risks. Aspirin can help prevent blood clotting, which is why it helps people at risk of heart attacks and strokes, says Cryer. But in people with ulcers, it can lead to more serious gastrointestinal bleeding.

How Does A Health Care Professional Diagnose A Corneal Ulcer

The presence of a corneal ulcer can be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist through an eye examination. The ophthalmologist will be able to detect an ulcer by using a special eye microscope known as a slit lamp. A drop containing the dye fluorescein, when placed in the eye, can make the ulcer easier to see. Scrapings of the ulcer may be sent to the laboratory for identification of bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Certain bacteria, such as a species of Pseudomonas, may cause a corneal ulcer which is rapidly progressive.

Treatment aims to eradicate the cause of the ulcer. Physicians will use anti-infective agents directed at the inciting microbial agent in cases of corneal ulcer due to infection. Generally, these will be in the form of eyedrops or ointments that the patient will place in the eye. Occasionally, especially in certain viral infections, doctors will also prescribe oral medications. In certain situations, medical professionals will prescribe corticosteroid eyedrops, but people should only use them after examination by an eye doctor or other physician using a slit lamp, because in some situations, steroids may hinder healing or aggravate the infection. Physicians may occasionally utilize subconjunctival injection of antibiotics.

In cases of patients aggravated by eye dryness or corneal exposure , tear substitutes will be used, possibly accompanied by patching or a bandage contact lens.

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What Is The Healing Time For A Corneal Ulcer

The time until healing depends on the cause of the ulcer and its size, location, and depth. Most appropriately treated corneal ulcers should improve within two to three weeks. Treatment may continue for longer to reduce the amount of potential scarring. Corneal ulceration is a serious condition, and with inadequate or no treatment, loss of vision and blindness may occur.

Can Corneal Ulcers Be Prevented

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You can help prevent corneal ulcers by taking care of your eyes, and by seeing your doctor promptly if your eyes seem infected or have something in them.

If you wear contact lenses, you can help prevent corneal ulcers by:

  • cleaning and storing the lenses carefully
  • not wearing them longer than you should
  • avoiding wearing contact lenses overnight

If you have dry eye syndrome, or your lids do not close completely, keep your eyes moist with tear-substitute eye drops.

Wear goggles to protect your eyes from particles â for example, when you are gardening or using power tools.

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What Are Corneal Ulcer Signs

An ophthalmologist may notice signs of inflammation in the conjunctiva of the eye and in the anterior chamber of the eye. The redness is due to dilation of the conjunctival blood vessels. The eyelids may be swollen, and a white or gray round spot on the cornea could be visible with the naked eye if the ulcer is large. Not all gray spots are ulcers. The ulcer may be central in the cornea or marginal, at the outer edge of the cornea. There may be swelling of the cornea around the ulcer. There may be scarring from prior corneal ulcers. There may be a single in the eye, and ulcers may be present in one or both eyes. Some more severe corneal ulcers are associated with iritis, which is an inflammatory response within the anterior chamber. If there is severe iritis, layering of inflammatory cells in the lower part of the anterior chamber may occur. In rare cases, the cornea may thin with ballooning out of the inner layers of the cornea.

What To Avoid If You Have An Ulcer

If you have an ulcer, avoid NSAIDs or smoking, which can reduce the ability of the stomach lining to protect itself against stomach acid. Foods that increase stomach acid, such as dairy, coffee, and soda should be taken out of the diet. Highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus, will only make things worse. Finally, substances that irritate the stomach, such as alcohol or spicy foods, are probably not a good idea.

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Stomach Ulcer

Symptoms vary from person to person, and some people may have no symptoms at all. Abdominal pain is common, and that associated with stomach ulcers tends to worsen after food. Other common symptoms include:

  • Bloating or belching

Symptoms such as vomiting, severe pain or blood in the stools are rare with stomach ulcers and should be reported to your doctor.

Most ulcers occur in the first layer of the inner lining. A hole that goes all the way through is called a perforation and will cause severe pain and bleeding. It is a medical emergency.

Treatment #: Topical Treatment

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Corneal ulcer treatment can also be done with the help of some topical solution. Below are some of the most effective topical treatment for the corneal ulcer that you should definitely follow:

  • Cycloplegic agents
  • Prophylactic broad-spectrum topical antibiotics like 0.3% ciprofloxacin qid
  • Immunosuppressive agents like topical cyclosporine 0.5% in artificial tears
  • Preservative free artificial tears that are used with or without soft contact lenses and punctum plug, should be used.

These topical treatments can be taken into consideration when you wish to get the best corneal ulcer treatment.

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How To Prevent Corneal Ulcers

It is not always a preventive disease, but some steps may help people to reduce the possibly severe consequences of suppurative keratitis.

  • Use commercial contact lens cleaning solution
  • Always wash the hands before you handle your contact lenses or touch the eyes
  • Do not use tap water or saliva to moisten to store the lenses
  • Do not wear contact lenses overnight
  • Sterilize and clean the contact lenses before and after wearing the contact lenses and make sure that you store them in disinfecting solutions.
  • Always make use of protective eye wear when doing work or other activities that cause eye trauma
  • Try to make use of artificial tears so that you can keep your eyes lubricated if you are having dry eyelids issues.

Treatment #: Natural Treatments

Apart from conventional and topical treatment for corneal ulcer, there are also some natural treatments that you can try for corneal ulcer treatment at home.

#1: Eye Care

When it comes to treating corneal ulcer, several treatments options are available but one of the best natural treatments you can try is to wear sunglass during the healing process. You should also avoid any kind of unnecessary eye strain. If you want to provide more comfort to your eyes then you can make use of moist warm compress on the eyes. For this, you can mix 3 cups of warm water with only 10 drops of oregano oil. After this, you need to soak a clean washcloth and then ring well and directly place over your eyes for at least 20 minutes.

#2: Try Vitamin D

When you fight against any type of eye infection, it is quite important to increase the vitamin D level in the body. However, if you experience any injury or a corneal ulcer then deficiency of vitamin D may make you more prone to develop eye infections.

When it comes to taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement, you should get a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes each day of direct sunlight without applying sunscreen. But, dont forget to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Vitamin D is proven to improve the immune system and concentration response.

#3: Dietary Changes

#4: Colloidal Silver

#5: Echinacea

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Shutting It Off At The Source

In 1976, the objective of peptic ulcer therapy changed, from neutralizing stomach acid to preventing its secretion. The first target was histamine, the decarboxylation product of the essential amino acid histidine. Histamine activity was first detected in an extract of ergot, which potently stimulates uterine contraction. Following this lead, the pioneer pharmacologists Henry Dale and George Barger isolated histamine and determined its structure in 1910 . Among histamines many pharmacologic effects is its powerful stimulation of acid release in the stomach, which was reported as early as 1930 . It is known now that histamine is released from enterochromaffin-like cells, found in close proximity to the stomachs acid-secreting cells located in the body and fundus of the stomach. Histamine diffuses from the ECL cells into the parietal cells, where it triggers acid secretion .

When the first antihistamines were discovered in the 1940s, it was anticipated that they would inhibit histamine-induced gastric secretion. Surprisingly, they showed no such effect. For twenty-five years, more antihistamines were prepared, having a wide variety of chemical structures, variously sedating and not sedating. Still, their effect on stomach histamine was negligible. Until James Black came along.

What Causes Corneal Ulcers

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Corneal ulcers are usually caused by bacterial infection . They can also be caused by a viral infection , fungal infection or trauma.

Infections are more common if you:

  • wear contact lenses, especially overnight
  • have an underactive immune system
  • have certain eye allergies

An ulcer can also be caused by damage to the cornea from a foreign object or small particle.

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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture . Do not allow the liquid to freeze. Dispose of unused famotidine liquid after 30 days.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDAs Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

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Duration Of Peptic Ulcers

Ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori heal when the bacteria is killed. The typical course of treatment includes two weeks of antibiotics along with acid-suppressing medicine. This is followed by an additional four to eight weeks of the acid-suppressing medicine alone.

Its possible for an ulcer to heal temporarily without antibiotics, but it will likely recur or another one will form nearby if the bacteria is not killed.

Peptic ulcers caused by medication usually heal shortly after you stop taking the medication. Doctors typically recommend taking antacids for two to six weeks to assist with healing and relieve pain.

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What Should I Do If I Forget A Dose

If you forget a dose of prescription famotidine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Over-the-counter famotidine is usually taken as needed. If your doctor has told you to take over-the-counter famotidine regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

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Complications Of Peptic Ulcers

Left untreated, peptic ulcers can result in severe complications and emergencies.

  • Internal bleeding You can have bleeding in your stomach, esophagus, or duodenum when the ulcer opens a blood vessel. Ulcers can cause bleeding that occurs slowly over time or quickly, possibly resulting in hemorrhaging that can be life-threatening due to shock. Sometimes you may not notice a bleeding ulcer until you become anemic, a condition in which your body lacks red blood cells because of inadequate iron. This occurs when ulcers cause chronic, low-grade blood loss.
  • A hole, or perforation, in the stomach wall You can develop a perforated ulcer, which means it has eaten through your stomach or intestinal wall.
  • Obstruction This is when you have swelling or scarring related to your ulcer that is preventing your food from being digested properly.

The signs that you are having an ulcer emergency are:

  • Blood in vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Increasing pain
  • Mental confusion
  • Severe abdominal distension

If you think you or someone you know is having an ulcer emergency, seek immediate medical attention.

Is It Possible To Prevent Corneal Ulcers

Preventing a corneal ulcer is important. Individuals should wear eye protection when using power tools or when they may be exposed to small particles that can enter the eye, like particles from a grinding wheel or a weed whacker.

Individuals who have dry eyes or whose eyelids do not close completely should use artificial teardrops to keep the eyes lubricated.

If an eye is red and irritated and worsens or does not respond to over-the-counter eyedrops within a day, contact an ophthalmologist promptly.

People wearing contact lenses should be extremely careful about the way they clean and wear those lenses. Corneal ulcers secondary to contact lenses are preventable. Always wash your hands before handling the lenses. Never use saliva to lubricate contact lenses because the mouth contains bacteria that can harm the cornea. Remove lenses from the eyes every evening and carefully clean them. Never use tap water to clean the lenses. Never sleep with contact lenses not designed for overnight wear in the eyes. Store the lenses in disinfecting solutions overnight. Remove lenses whenever the eyes are irritated and leave them out until there is no longer any irritation or redness. Regularly clean the contact lens case. Carefully read the instructions about contact lens care supplied by the lens maker. Consider using daily disposable lenses.

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