Herpes infection of the cornea

The clear tissue at the front of the eye is known as the cornea, and it must remain crystal clear in order for an individual to see clearly. The herpes viruses can infect the cornea, causing damage to tissue and possibly causing lasting visual impairment if not quickly identified and treated. Herpes simplex: the cold sore virus One of the most common infections of the cornea is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV type I and HSV type II), or the cold sore virus. The most common question from patients with HSV infection of the cornea is “How did I get this?” The answer is fairly simple. The virus is everywhere, and exposure to it is inevitable. Autopsy studies show that 100% of people over age 60 have the virus in their body, specifically in the trigeminal ganglion that supplies the nerves to the eye. It is a matter of how your body responds to the infection that determines what happens to your eye. The virus can be latent, having no effect on the cornea, or the virus can cause havoc on the cornea in a variety of ways. HSV can cause a breakdown in the surface layer of the cornea, resulting in microscopic defects that result in eye redness, eye pain, and blurry vision. This condition is treated with oral antiviral medications, such as acyclovir and valacyclovir, and preventative topical antibiotics to limit the risk of a bacterial infection developing in the vulnerable eye. In addition, the body’s immune response to HSV can result in cloudlike whitening pat...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Eye Health Infectious diseases Source Type: blogs

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