Be Nice to Your Cornea or Keratitis Could be the Result
The cornea is the clear covering over the pupil and iris of your eye. If it becomes inflamed, the condition is called keratitis. Keratitis can be caused by something as seemingly insignificant as wearing your contact lenses too long, along with a variety of other causes. Keratitis is not something to take lightly — if left untreated corneal infections can cause blindness.
At Millennium Park Eye Center, we have extensive experience diagnosing and treating keratitis.
What is keratitis?
When the cornea becomes inflamed, this is sometimes referred to as a “corneal ulcer.” It’s usually caused by injury or infection, and the infection can be either bacterial or fungal.
What are the symptoms of keratitis?
The first sign of keratitis is usually eye pain and redness, but this can be more intense than other eye conditions with those traits. Your eye may burn or feel irritated, as if something is in it. Light may hurt your eyes. You may even have trouble opening your eye.
These are the typical symptoms of keratitis:
- Pain (often suddenly oncoming)
- Sensitivity to light
- Corneal haze
With keratitis, the symptoms usually appear very quickly.
Causes of keratitis
Keratitis can be caused by many things; these are the main causes:
- Injury — This is the typical cause, damage to the cornea. You may have been poked in the eye or scratched it with a fingernail. If you’ve worn your contact lenses for too long, this can lead to infection.
- Viral infection — Various viruses, from the common cold, to herpes simplex, to chicken pox can spread to your eyes if you touch them.
- Bacterial infection — This is usually a problem with contact lens wearers. Bacteria can grow on the lenses or in the contact case if you’re not diligent about keeping things clean. Extended wear contacts are most likely to lead to this.
- Fungus — if you’re in a humid locale, a branch may scratch your eye. This can cause a fungal infection. Contaminated contacts can also cause fungal keratitis.
If you have any of the symptoms of keratitis, it’s important to call the team at Millennium Park Eye Center immediately. From antibiotic eye drops to antifungal treatment or corticosteroid therapy, we can cure the infection before it leads to a more serious problem.
Call us at 312-996-2020.