What Is Keratitis?
Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea. Noninfectious keratitis can be caused by a minor injury, wearing contact lenses too long, or by a foreign body in the eye.
However, infection is the most common cause of keratitis, triggered by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites entering the cornea and resulting in infection, inflammation, or ulceration of the cornea. Keratitis is oftentimes seen in relation to contact lens wear, due to improper cleaning of contact lenses or overuse of old contact lenses that should be discarded. It is more common in people who use extended-wear contacts or wear contacts continuously rather than in those who use daily wear contacts and take them out at night.
Signs and symptoms of keratitis include:
- Eye pain
- Eye redness
- Excess tears or other discharge from the eye
- Difficulty opening your eyelid because of pain or irritation
- Blurred or decreased vision
- Sensitivity to light
- The feeling that something is in your eye
Minor corneal infections are usually treated with antibacterial eye drops. If the problem is severe, it may require more intensive antibiotic or antifungal treatment to eliminate the infection, as well as steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation.
If you have eye redness or other symptoms of keratitis, make an appointment with us right away. With prompt attention, mild to moderate cases of keratitis can usually be effectively treated without loss of vision. If left untreated, or if an infection is severe, keratitis can lead to serious complications that may permanently damage your vision