It is a viral infection which is caused by herpes simplex virus. The virus is of two types: type I and type II. The most commonly occurring type is type I and it affects the face primarily and causes ‘fever blister’ or ‘cold sore’ whereas type II is transmitted sexually and it infects the genitals. Both the type causes eye infection but type I causes the infection frequently. When an active lesion is touched, the infection can be transferred to the eye.
Herpes Keratitis Causes:
Type I is very contagious and it spreads through skin contact from an affected person to a normal person. It is estimated that nearly ninety percent of the population has type I herpes during childhood. After infecting a person, the virus lies dormant in the skin’s nerve cells or of the eyes. This can get reactivated through number of ways such as stress, fever, trauma, menstruation and exposure to sunlight or certain medications. When this virus is present in the eyes, it infects the conjunctiva, cornea and as well as the eyelids. It rarely affects the inside of the eyes.
Herpes Keratitis Symptoms:
Some of the symptoms of this condition are redness, pain, rashes, blurred vision tearing, sensitivity to light and discharge. If the infection affects the cornea’s outer layer, it will usually heal by itself. But if it affects the cornea’s deeper layers, the cornea may get scarred leading to loss of vision and even blindness.
Herpes Keratitis Treatment:
The treatment depends on the severity of the condition and antiviral medication is used to treat mild infection. The affected corneal layer is scraped by the ophthalmologist to remove the cells. A corneal transplant is required if the cornea is scarred severely. There is no complete cure for this condition and once if it enters the body, it remains inside the body.
Consult your doctor if you are suffering from this condition.