Herpes Simplex (Ocular Keratitis)

Ocular Herpes is a common, recurrent viral infection that affects the eyes. This type of herpes virus can cause inflammation and scarring of the cornea. One type of Ocular Herpes is known as Herpes Simplex Viral Keratitis (ker·a·tit·i·des), or HSVK. HSVK is typically transmitted through contact with another person who is having an outbreak. HSVK is also an opportunistic infection. If a person has recently been under extreme amounts of stress, feeling run down, or recently been ill, this can also cause an occurrence of HSVK.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of an outbreak of HSVK include:

  • inflammation
  • irritation
  • ocular pain
  • sensitivity to light
  • corneal clouding which can result in blurry vision.

An outbreak of HSVK can be devastating to the eye and can cause permanent blindness. In mild cases, vision may become blurred; and in some cases, vision may never return to its normal state.

It is important to see your eye care professional if you begin to notice any changes in your vision or discomfort in your eye, especially during times of high stress.

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