Keratitis is an inflammation or infection of the cornea. Keratitis often develops as the result of an infection, but can also be caused by a small scratch or prolonged contact lens wear. If left untreated, keratitis can lead to serious complications and can permanently damage vision.

Types of Keratitis

There are several types of keratitis. They include:

  • Bacteria infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Viral infection
  • Photokeratitis

Causes of Keratitis

There are several causes for keratitis. They may include the following:

  • An injury to the eye
  • Improper contact lens hygiene
  • Topical medication
  • Exposure to contaminated water
  • Eyelids that do not close completely
  • Dry eyes
  • Allergic eye diseases

Symptoms of Keratitis

Symptoms of keratitis may include the following:

  • Pain in the eyes
  • Impaired vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Red eyes
  • Tearing eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes

Complications of Keratitis

If left untreated bacterial keratitis can lead to the following:

  • Blindness
  • Loss of the eye
  • Scarring of the cornea
  • Vision loss

Diagnosis of Keratitis

Diagnosis of keratitis is made after a thorough medical examination of the eyes by a physician. Some of the following tests may be conducted to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Fluorescein examination of the cornea
  • Measurement of the curve of the cornea
  • Refraction examination
  • Slit-lamp examination
  • Vision test
  • Biopsy
  • Blood test

It is important to see a doctor for a complete eye exam in order to detect any infections at the first sign of symptoms.

Treatment of Keratitis

Treatment of keratitis should begin as soon as possible to avoid complications. The type of treatment method depends on the type and the cause of the condition but may include some of the following:

  • Antibacterial medication
  • Anti-fungal medication
  • Antiviral medication
  • Patching
  • Corneal transplant for severe cases

The doctor will recommend a personalized treatment plan based on each patient's individual condition.

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