Throughout the years, doctors and scientists have discovered some very dangerous and advanced medical conditions and viruses. There is no doubt that everyone on the planet has heard of herpes, but you probably haven’t ever heard of herpes keratitis. What exactly is this virus and what are the symptoms and results of infection? Within this guide, you will be able to discover everything you need to know about Herpes Keratitis.
What is Herpes Keratitis?
In layman terms, herpes keratitis is a viral infection, which impacts the eye! As the name suggests, the particular infection is a direct result of the herpes simplex virus, or HSV. There are actually two different varieties of the infection, Type I and Type II. Type I is typically the most common and usually leads to eye infections. So, how do you obtain this infection? Touching a blister or cold sore and then rubbing your eye could very well lead to exposure.
Herpes Keratitis Facts
Although many people do not know it, HSV Keratitis is actually the most common cause of
corneal blindness, within the United States. Throughout the western world, the condition is the most common cause of infectious blindness. Still, with aggressive treatment early, it is possible to curb the symptoms and prevent blindness. Take note that there is no cure for the infection.
Symptoms of Herpes Keratitis
In order to determine, whether or not you’ve been exposed to herpes keratitis, it is vital to know the symptoms of this condition. When it comes down to it, each individual victim of the condition will complain of different symptoms, but there are a few commonalities. These common symptoms will be listed below.
- Pain around the eye
- Cloudy vision
- Runny or teary eyes
- Redness of the eye
Unfortunately, these particular symptoms are very similar to that of conjunctivitis, which makes it somewhat difficult to diagnosis the ailment.
How Herpes Keratitis Spreads
Herpes Keratitis is spread through direct contact. If someone has been infected with Type I herpes and has a weepy fever blister, they are more prone to transferring the disease to their eye. Of course, others can also make contact with the active cold sore and follow the same process, by touching their eye with the same body part that they touched the victim’s cold sore with, this will put them at a higher risk for contracting the virus.
Type I herpes is very common and nearly 90% of Americans have come into contact with the virus at some point in their life. The virus will lay dormant for many years and may never be reactivated, but there are some factors that can be linked to the reactivation of the virus including stress, excessive sun exposure, high-grade fevers, body traumas, menstrual cycle, and certain types of medications.
When attempting to avoid the virus, there are a specific number of actions that should be taken. First and foremost, those that wear contact lenses will need to clean and sterilize their contacts thoroughly, before inserting them in their eye. Never use tap water, as this will not sterilize the contact effectively! Instead, you need a disinfecting solution. More precautions can be found below.
- Regular checkups are vital
- Always remove the contacts, if the eyes become irritated
- Replace the contact lenses on a regular basis with 3 months being recommended
- Always rinse your contacts every night using hot water and allow them to air dry
- Stick with a healthy and balanced diet
- When working around potentially dangerous materials, protective glasses should be worn
If you come in contact with anyone that is infected with herpes keratitis, it is vital to proceed with caution. The infection is extremely contagious and could easily be spread. Therefore, you should avoid direct contact.
Treatment for Herpes Keratitis
Most infected individuals will notice their symptoms dissipate spontaneously in a few weeks. The purpose of treatment is to help prevent stromal damage and potential scarring. There are a few different treatments for the condition. These will be listed below for your consideration.
Drugs Prescribed for Herpes Keratitis
Typically, topical ganciclovir ophthalmic gel is often prescribed for this ailment. A .15% solution is given and used five times a day. It is also possible to use 1% drops of trifluridine. These drops are used nine times a day. If the patient prefers an oral treatment, it is likely that the doctor will prescribe them with 400 mg of acyclovir, which should be used 5 times a day. This treatment is carried on for 10 days.
While there is no genuine cure for herpes keratitis, yet there is evidence that L-lysine is very effective in blocking triggers from reactivating the virus. It has also been proven that this essential amino acid is effective is reducing the symptoms of HSV.
Although Herpes Keratitis isn’t deadly, it can dramatically change your life! With precaution, you can avoid the virus. With proper treatment, you will be able to overcome the symptoms and maintain a normal life!