Corneal melting in a chronic alcoholic contact lens wearer

CLAO J. 1996 Apr;22(2):146-7.


Purpose: We report a case of bilateral keratitis in a 43-year-old alcoholic patient who wore soft daily wear contact lenses.

Methods: After consecutive negative cultures of corneal and conjunctival scrapings and after observing no improvement following antibiotic therapy, the patient was clinically diagnosed with vitamin A deficiency.

Results: After 20 days of treatment with vitamin A, the patient's cornea completely healed. Laboratory results confirmed the clinical diagnosis.

Conclusions: When the ophthalmologist is confronted with corneal melting in a known alcoholic or drug-user, it is imperative to consider the possibility of vitamin A deficiency as a possible cause, especially in the contact lens wearer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Contact Lenses*
  • Corneal Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Corneal Ulcer / etiology
  • Corneal Ulcer / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratitis / complications
  • Keratitis / etiology*
  • Male
  • Vitamin A / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin A Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin A Deficiency / drug therapy


  • Vitamin A