Ocular herpes is a viral infection that affects the eyes. The type 1 herpes simplex virus causes this condition. Herpes in the eye is transmitted by coming in contact with someone who has the virus. It is estimated that 40,000 people in the US have ocular herpes. This condition typically only affects one eye, but it may affect both eyes.
Symptoms of Eye Herpes
Eye swelling, tearing, redness, sores, sensitivity to light, pain, recurrent eye infections and watery eye discharge are common symptoms. In some cases, this condition can scar the cornea. This can result in vision loss. Outbreaks may may last only days but could be present for weeks at a time depending on the severity.
Treatment For Eye Herpes
Herpes in the eye does not have a cure. There is a chance that the condition will return later in life once one experiences an outbreak. A person may experience a recurrence several weeks later. However, the condition may remain dormant for years and then flare-up again.
Even though there is no cure for eye herpes, there are several treatment options for it. The type of treatment that the doctor recommends is contingent upon the severity of the condition. It is important to note that since herpes is caused by a virus, antibiotics cannot treat this condition.
Antiviral medications are available in the form of pills and eye drops. In some cases, doctors will recommend both of these treatments. Regardless of whether you take pills or eye drops, you will need to follow your doctor’s instructions. Even if the infection seems to be cleared up, you should continue to take the medication. The infection can reoccur if you stop taking the medication too soon.
In some cases, long-term medications are recommended in order to decrease the chance of an infection reoccurring. The medications typically have few side effects and are well-tolerated. Make sure that you consult with your doctor if you start to experience bothersome side effects.
Keep in mind that early treatment can prevent vision loss. However, you will need to follow up with your doctor on a regular basis. The experienced team at Brandon Eye Care can help you take care of herpes in the eye. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.