General Illness Information
Common Name: None Specified
Description: Infection or inflammation of the cornea (the center portion of the eye that surrounds the pupil).
- Bacterial, viral or fungal infections. The most common is herpes simplex virus, Type I.
- Drying of the eye caused by an eyelid disorder or insufficient tear formation.
- Foreign object in the eye.
- Contact lenses over-use.
- Intense light, such as from welding arcs or the reflection of intense sunlight from snow or water. (Symptoms may not appear for 24 hours after exposure).
- Vitamin A deficiency.
- Allergy to eye cosmetics, air pollution, airborne particles (pollen, dust, mold, or yeast) and other allergens.
- Wear protective glasses, if your work involves eye hazards.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that contains sufficient vitamin A or take multiple-vitamin supplements containing vitamin A.
Signs & Symptoms
- Eye pain.
- Redness of the eye.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Foreign body sensation in the eye.
- Tearing and blurred vision.
- Poor nutrition, especially insufficient vitamin A.
- Contact lens wearers.
- Illness that has lowered resistance.
- Viral infections elsewhere in the body, especially cold sores or genital herpes.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Special eye exam confirms keratitis. A vision test may also be performed.
- Discontinue use of contact lenses until infection clears.
- Treatment usually involves eye medication.
- Antibiotic or anti-viral eye drops and ointments.
- Don’t use non-prescription eye drops containing topical corticosteroids. These may worsen the condition.
No specific diet.
- Ulceration and scarring of the cornea, leading to vision loss.
With early treatment, most types of keratitis are curable.