KERATITIS

Definition

Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, the transparent membrane that covers the colored part (iris) and the pupil of the eye.

Types of Keratitis

·         Bacterial

·         Viral

·          Fungal

Causes of Keratitis

·        Improper use of contact lenses.

·        Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.

·        Pollution and lack of hygiene in crowded places.

·        Use of utensils of infected person.

·        Scars in the eye which will easily cause Keratitis if there not treated.

·        Dry eyes resulting from disorders of the eyelid or diminished ability to form tears.

·        Foreign objects that injure or become lodged in the eye.

Symptoms of Keratitis include:

·        Redness.

·        Pain.

·        Sensitivity to the light.

·        Blurred vision.

·        Decrease of vision.

·        Excessive tearing.

·        Sticky eye lids.

·        Difficulty to open the eye.

Treatment

·         Depending on the type of keratitis, the treating physician will prescribe suitable antibiotics, antifungal, or antiviral treatment that can be eye drops, ointment, or tablets, once the lab analysis determines the offending organism.

·        Laser surgery is sometimes performed to destroy unhealthy cells.

·        Some severe infections require corneal transplants.

·        A patient with Keratitis may wear a clear shield to protect the eye from foreign objects, and avoid rubbing the eye.

·        The patient will probably return every day to the doctor to check the progress, or to be admitted to the hospital for medical treatment.

Complications

Although early detection and treatment can cure most forms of Keratitis, the infection can cause:

·         Temporary or permanent decrease in vision

·         Secondary Glaucoma

·         Chronic Keratitis

·         Corneal ulcers

·         Corneal scars

·         Blindness

 

Prevention

·        Contact lenses wearers should always use sterile lens-cleaning and disinfecting solutions. Tap water is not sterile and should not be used to clean contact lenses.

·        Trimming nails to prevent causing scars to the cornea while you are wearing contact lenses.

·        Remove contact lenses if the eyes become red or irritated.

·        Contact lenses should not be worn while sleeping or swimming.

·        Wearing protective glasses when working or playing in potentially dangerous situations can reduce the risk of developing Keratitis.

·        Contact the doctor if you have any pain, change in your vision, redness or tearing. Delays in diagnosis and treatment of keratitis can lead to serious complications.

 

 

 

Revised November 2015

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