What is Medicine- what is herpes keratitis?
In general, keratitis is the inflammation of the cornea. There are plenty of causes of keratitis. These include viral infection, bacterial infection, fungal infection, contact lens acute red eye and exposure.
The most common cause of keratitis is due to herpes simplex virus infection. This is known as herpes simplex keratitis.
Other forms of keratitis include bacterial causing keratitis due to pseudomonas or staphylococcal infection or fungal
infection due to candida or aspergilus infection. Exposure keratitis occurs due to inadequate coverage of the eyelid.
The most common keratitis is herpes simplex keratitis. This happens due to the herpes simplex infection. Hopes simplex keratitis causing the inflammation of the eye mostly the epithelial layer of the cornea.
An inflammation of the stroma (the layer between epithelium and endothelium) is known as stromal keratitis. stromal keratitis is associated with necrosis of the stroma, vascularization and scarring.
This may lead to corneal blindness.
Herpes simplex keratitis presents with symptoms and signs such as photo phobia, painful red eye, vesicles around the eye, watering eyes foreign body sensation and reduced visual acuity.
Herpes simplex keratitis is diagnosed by staining with fluorescein.
This will show the dendritic corneal ulcer. Dendritic is describes as the appearance of branching and spreading ulcer. Slit lamp examination is also useful to identify the present of keratitis. Corneal swabs of scrapings are used to isolate the virus which are used for virus culture at PCR.
Patient with potentially sight threatening should be refitted to ophthalmologist. Management of herpes simplex keratitis may include topical or oral aciclovir, eye gel ganciclovir. In case of stromal keratitis, the treatment includes topical steroids and antivirals. Corneal transplant is required in case of stromal keratitis to treat any scarring.
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