Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology

Cornea

Keratitis

What is keratitis?

Keratitis is the term we use to define an inflammation of the cornea.

The cornea is the most anterior transparent layer of the eye and is made of several layers of cells and collagen stroma. Most often the inflammation affects the superficial layers and, in this case, it is less serious. But if it affects the deeper layers the inflammation can even create an ulcer and leave very serious sequelae and cause an important loss of vision.

Why does keratitis occur?

Keratitis can be the consequence of several diseases, such as: dry eyes; infections -viral (especially herpes), bacterial, fungal or parasitic (which can occur in all contact lens wearers)-; toxic; allergies; poor eye closure.

How does keratitis manifest?

A keratitis presents with pain, tearing and photophobia (discomfort with light). It is important to differentiate keratitis from conjunctivitis. The main difference between the two is that conjunctivitis is painless.

Keratitis treatments

The treatment is medical, treating the cause (dry eye, infection, allergy, studying the cause of insufficient eyelid closure, etc).

In severe cases it can become surgical, even requiring a keratoplasty (cornea transplant).

Keratitis prevention

Keratitis can be prevented if the factor that produces it is avoided, especially preventing dry eyes (with lubricating eye drops, sunglasses), or through good hygiene in contact lens wearers.

Summary

Debut

Variable.

Symptoms

Pain, tearing and photophobia.

Revision

It is important to go to the ophthalmologist in the presence of these symptoms.

Prevention

Avoid dry eye, hygiene of contact lenses, symptomatic treatment of allergy or ocular exposure (for not closing the eyelid well).

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