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Eye Herpes

What is Herpes of the Eye?

When the eye is afflicted by herpes simplex, it usually affects only one eye and most often occurs on the cornea. The cornea is the clear dome that covers the front part of the eye.

Herpes of the eye produces sores on the surface of the cornea. In severe cases, herpes of the eye can cause inflammation that spreads deep into the cornea and eye.

Herpes of the eye is also called ocular herpes and herpes keratitis.

What Causes Herpes of the Eye?

Herpes of the eye is caused by the herpes simplex virus I and the herpes virus II. The herpes simplex virus I is the same virus that causes cold sores. The herpes simplex II virus is the same virus that causes genital herpes.

Symptoms of Herpes of the Eye

The most common symptom of herpes of the eye is a painful sore on the eyelid or surface of the eye, and inflammation of the cornea.

Can Herpes of the Eye be Treated?

Treatment options for herpes of the eye depends on the location and the severity of the condition. When herpes affects the cornea, eye drops and antiviral ointments are common treatments. If the herpes infection involves deeper layers of the cornea, steroids may be needed.

Complications of Herpes of the Eye

If the infection involves the deeper layers of the cornea, it may lead to scars of the cornea, loss of vision, and in severe cases, blindness.

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