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How do herpes simplex and keratitis relate?

Herpes simplex is a contagious virus that underlies many medical conditions, like meningitis, encephalitis, and genital herpes. Once the virus is in your system, there is no way to truly kill it, so people who have once had herpes simplex commonly have recurrent flare-ups of infection. Infection can crop up on your lips, skin, genitals, or eyes.

Herpes simplex in the eyes is one type of keratitis, and is one of the more common causes of the condition. Herpes simplex keratitis, like all types of keratitis, causes pain and inflammation in the eyes, and also often creates painful corneal ulcers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.