Herpes Simplex Keratitis

The herpes simplex type 1 virus is the same that causes cold sores in and around the mouth, where it can be annoying, but not generally a major problem. Unfortunately, the virus can also affect the cornea, which can cause temporary or permanent decreased vision and also glaucoma. It may present as an active infection in the cornea (dendritic keratitis), active inflammation (disciform keratitis), or both. Active infection is treated with antiviral medications (drops, gels, ointments or pills) and active inflammation may be treated with steroid drops.

Corneal Ulcer

The cornea can develop an infection. Such infections can be mild to severe. Risk factors for infection include contact lens wear, eye trauma and certain corneal conditions. Mild infections are often treated with frequent antibiotic drops. More severe infections may be cultured in the office or emergency room and then treated with frequent specially-made fortified antibiotics around the clock. Patients with severe corneal ulcers are seen regularly, often every day, until the infection appears to be improving. Most corneal ulcers resolve with antibiotic drop treatment.

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