Here you can discover the most important eye diseases and we will help you to recognise their symptoms and tell you how each condition is treated.
What is keratitis?
Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea, the anterior membrane of the eye globe, which covers the pupil and the iris. It often causes redness and pain in the area and can affect vision. It can be caused by different factors:
- Viral keratitis: this is caused by viral infections (the most common being herpes simplex keratitis, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV)). Early detection and treatment with antivirals is important, as this type of keratitis can have relapses, leaving corneal leukomas that may require a corneal transplant.
- Bacterial, fungal or Acanthamoeba keratitis: this can result from previous corneal erosion, and contact lens wearers are especially susceptible to this kind of keratitis. It is a severe type of keratitis that can lead to serious complications and permanent sequelae. That is why early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotic or antifungal eye drops is essential.
- Dry eye: dry eye can cause corneal lesions, which usually appear as small spots in the middle and lower part of the cornea. Although it is not common for this type of lesion to lead to complications, it is important to detect and treat it early.
- Other factors: keratitis can also be caused by exposure to toxic or irritating products, allergens, abnormal closure of the eyelids and incorrect use of contact lenses.
Depending on the area of the cornea that is affected, keratitis is also classified as superficial (when it affects its outermost part, the epithelium) and ulcerative (when it affects deeper layers).
Some of the symptoms most commonly associated with keratitis are as follows:
- Red, irritated, sore eyes
- Excess tearing or other discharge
- Pain and difficulty opening the eyelid
- Blurred or impaired vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Foreign body sensation
The treatment of keratitis varies according to the cause. In cases of non-infectious keratitis, the use of tears or eye drops is usually recommended to reduce discomfort, while in more severe cases it may be necessary to wear an eye patch. In the case of infectious keratitis, eye drops containing antibacterial, antiviral or antifungal components or oral drugs may be required. Keratitis caused by amoebas can be difficult to treat and sometimes requires further treatments in addition to antibiotics.