Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) (Disease)


Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea that sometimes occurs with infection due to viruses, bacteria, or fungi enter the cornea. These microorganisms can enter the eye after superficial or deep injuries, causing infection, inflammation, and ulceration of the cornea. Though uncommon, this type of infection can also arise after injury from wearing contact lenses.

Symptoms of keratitis include: severe pain, blurred vision, tearing, redness, extreme sensitivity to light, discharge.

Causes and Risk factors

Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea caused by prolonged exposure to sun. Causes of keratitis include injury, contaminated contact lenses, viruses, contaminated water.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment of noninfectious keratitis varies depending on the cause. However, for uncomplicated cases in which, for example, keratitis is caused by a scratch or prolonged contact lens wear, a 24-hour eye patch and topical eye medications often may solve the problem.

Treatment of infectious keratitis varies, depending on the cause of the infection.

Bacterial keratitis: For mild bacterial keratitis, antibacterial eyedrops may be all you need to effectively treat the infection. If the infection is moderate to severe, you may need to take oral antibiotics to get rid of the infection. It may also be necessary to use corticosteroid eyedrops to reduce the inflammation of bacterial keratitis.

Fungal keratitis: Keratitis caused by fungi typically requires antifungal eyedrops and oral antifungal medication.

Viral keratitis: If a virus is causing the infection, antiviral eyedrops and oral antiviral medications may be effective. But these medications may not be able to eliminate the virus completely, and viral keratitis may come back in the future.

Acanthamoeba keratitis: Keratitis that is caused by the tiny parasite acanthamoeba can be difficult to treat. Antibiotic eye drops may be helpful, but some acanthamoeba infections are resistant to medication. Severe cases of acanthamoeba keratitis often require a corneal transplant (keratoplasty). ...