What is keratitis?
Cornea is a dome-shaped, clear tissue on an eye’s front which covers the iris and pupil. Keratitis is a condition that causes inflammation of your cornea. The condition can be, or not linked with infection.
Infectious keratitis may be triggered by parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria, whilst, noninfectious keratitis may be caused due to an underlying disease, wearing contact lenses for a longer period of time or because of a minor injury.
In case you notice redness in your eye or some other symptoms, immediately call for an appointment. Mild to moderate level of keratitis can be successfully treated with timely attention, without the vision being affected. In case of severe infection or it is left untreated, the condition can lead great complications damaging the vision permanently.
What are the symptoms of keratitis?
Symptoms of the condition include:
- Eye pain.
- Eye redness.
- Excess tears.
- Blurred vision.
- Irritation and pain may lead difficulty opening the eyelid.
- Other discharge.
- A feeling of some particle in the eye.
- Decreased vision.
What causes keratitis?
Clearly, the causes can be:
- Injury: in case an object penetrates or scratches the cornea’s surface, noninfectious keratitis may result. Such an injury then allows fungi or bacteria to get access through the injured surface to your cornea, causing infectious keratitis.
- Wearing contaminated lenses: parasites, fungi or bacteria can inhabit your contact lens’ surface which results in contaminating your cornea when you wear them, consequently leading infectious keratatits.
- Viruses: for example herpes viruses and virus that triggers Chlamydia can result keratitis.
- Contaminated water: Certain chemicals used in water, for example the ones in pools can result an irritated cornea plus a physical epithelium breakdown, causing chemical keratitis.
What are the risk factors of keratitis?
You are more likely to develop keratitis if:
- You wear contact lenses.
- A person has a compromised immune system because of disease and medications.
- Live in warm climate.
- You use eye drops of corticosteroids.
- Eye injury.
What is the possible complications keratitis can lead?
- Permanent or temporary reduction in vision.
- Corneal scarring or swelling.
- Corneal ulcers.
- Recurrent or chronic corneal infections and inflammation.
How is keratitis diagnosed?
The doctor will need details about your symptoms and medical history; he will also conduct a thorough eye examination, whilst he will suggest certain tests for diagnosing the condition:
- Penlight exam.
- Eye exam.
- Slit lamp exam.
- Laboratory analysis.
How is keratitis treated?
Treatment for noninfectious keratitis includes:
Its treatment depends upon the cause it has been triggered due to. In case it is caused due to extended wear of contact lenses or a scratch, then the doctor will suggest an eye patch with some topical medications for your eye.
Treatment for infectious keratitis includes:
Again, its cause will help the doctor to decide the treatment plan in your case
- Fungal keratitis: antifungal eye drops and medication (oral).
- Bacterial keratitis: for mild cases, the doctor can suggest antibacterial eye drops, however for moderate or severe case, he can prescribe oral antibiotics.
- Viral keratitis: antiviral eyedrops and medications (oral).
- Acanthamoeba keratitis: acanthamoeba is a microscopic parasite that can cause keratitis, in the case, your doctor can suggest antibiotic eye drops.
In few cases such infections fails to respond medications, thus will need a cornea transplant.
By : Natural Health News