A Answers (3)
Active herpes simplex virus (HSV) eye infections are treated with prescription antiviral eye drops or with oral antiviral medications. Glucocorticoid eye drops should not be used in active HSV eye infections as they can promote damage to your eye. Other types of HSV eye disease are actually an immune response to a previous infection and should be treated with both antiviral medications and glucocorticoid eye drops. You should see your doctor to determine which type of eye disease you have.
David Demartini, Ophthalmology, answered
Herpes Simplex keratitis (corneal inflammation) is a very common viral infection of the cornea. It predominantly involves just one eye. When it starts it is usually only on the surface of the cornea and is easiest to treat in this condition. Currently, there are a variety of topically applied drops and ointments that have proven to be very effective in discouraging the virus.
Once a patient is found to have Herpes Simplex keratitis, their eye is at risk for recurrent infections for the rest of their life. Because the virus usually lives dormant in the brain and spinal chord it can come out onto the cornea at any time. Stresses from other illness, emotions, trauma, intense sunlight or antiinflammatory steroids can lead to recurrent outbreaks of this virus. Hence they should be avoided as best possible to help prevent recurrences. The Herpes Eye Disease Study (HEDS) found that oral antiherpes medications can be very effective in preventing further outbreaks in patients that have had two or more recurrences in one year. A good diet, regular rest, and healthy lifestyle also seem to help prevent recurrences. Because the presentation of Herpes keratitis can be confusing lab tests and the clinical exam can be helpful to clarify the diagnosis.
American Academy of Ophthalmology answered
The form of treatment will depend on the severity of the infection. Mild infection is typically treated with topical and sometimes oral antiviral medication. Your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) may gently scrape the affected area of the cornea to remove the diseased cells. In cases of severe scarring and vision loss, a corneal transplant may be required.
It is very important to consult an ophthalmologist before beginning any treatment since some medications or eyedrops may actually make the infection worse.