There is a clear, dome-shaped tissue located on the front of the eye, known as the cornea. The cornea covers the pupil and iris of the eye. A condition known as Keratitis affects the cornea, resulting in inflammation to the area. Keratitis can be caused by a number of factors, including infections or minor injury. There are two forms of Keratitis: Noninfectious Keratitis and Infectious Keratitis. Noninfectious Keratitis is usually caused by a minor injury, such as a fingernail scratch to the cornea; whereas, Infectious Keratitis is caused by an infection, such as a bacteria or fungi.
Causes of Keratitis
There are numerous factors that cause Keratitis. Common causes of Keratitis include injuries to the surface of the cornea, typically caused from a fingernail scratch. This can later result in a bacterial infection to the cornea. Other causes include using contaminated contact lenses, viruses, and even contaminated water.
Certain people have an increased risk for Keratitis. People who wear contact lenses have an increased risk for this condition because of frequent contact with the eye. People who have a weakened immune system due to other medical conditions or medications have an increased risk for Infectious Keratitis. People who live in warm climates have an increased risk for this condition due to plant materials and chemicals that often come into contact with the eye.
Symptoms of Keratitis
There are many symptoms associated with both forms of Keratitis. Common symptoms of Keratitis include redness and pain in the eye, discharge or excessive tear secretion from the eye, and difficulty opening the eye. Other common symptoms of Keratitis include blurred vision, itching, burning, and a gritty feeling in the eye. Sensitivity to light, swelling, and an overall uncomfortable feeling in the eye is common as well.
Treatment for Keratitis
It’s important to seek treatment for Keratitis because serious complications can occur if the condition is left untreated. Complication of Keratitis include chronic corneal inflammation, chronic or recurring infections in the cornea, and corneal ulcers. The cornea can suffer from scarring and permanently reduced vision. In severe cases, blindness can occur.
Sometimes, Keratitis may not require treatment, such as minor cases of Noninfectious Keratitis. In most cases, Infectious Keratitis requires treatment. Treatment for Infectious Keratitis includes antibacterial eye drops when the infection is caused by bacteria. Antifungal eye drops are used to treat cases of Keratitis caused by fungi. Antiviral eye drops are used to treat Infectious Keratitis caused by a virus. If the infection is caused by a parasite antibiotics are also used.
“Keratitis Treatment and Drugs” MayoClinic.com