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Eye care information on diseases and treatments
Keratitis is a catch all term that describes a variety of infections and irritations that can affect the cornea. If left untreated keratitis can cause blindness. It also affects people of any age.
Keratitis varies in duration depending on whether or not it is treatable by antibiotics. If it is caused by bacteria it can be cured with antibiotics within a few days. If it is caused by contact lenses it also doesn’t last long. However if it is caused by rheumatism or an injury to the eye blindness can be the result.
Kinds of keratitis
There are several kinds of keratitis, such as:
Causes of keratitis
A healthy cornea resists infection. There must be a preexisting problem such an injury to the cornea or a viral, bacterial or fungal infection in order for it to take hold. Too much exposure to ultraviolet light, too much exposure to light from welders and wearing your contact lenses for too long and exposure to dust and smoke also are triggers.
Keratitis is also the side effect to some medicines and also a symptom of Vitamin A deficiency in the diet.
Signs and symptoms
Painful watering eyes may appear pink or blood shot. Keratitis can also cause increased sensitivity to light blurry vision and discharge.
If the keratitis is caused by the herpex virus then you then a white spot on the cornea will be visible.
Poor nutrition and living conditions are definite risk factor for keratitis, particularly a defiency of Vitamin A. Other infections that may be present in the body can provoke keratitis.
If you wear contact lenses for too long or neglect to clean them then you are also at risk for keratitis.
Symptoms of keratitis are similar to other eye diseases. To avoid misdiagnosis it is important that you have a complete physical examination. A definitive diagnosis is only obtained though the taking of a culture.
Medical treatment is crucial as keratitis rapidly gets work. Even a few hours delay in getting treatment can make the case harder to treat.
If the keratitis is triggered by viral infection, then it will resolve on its own with the aid of anti-viral eye drops in fourteen to twenty one days.
If bacterial infection, contact lens stress or excessive exposure to ultraviolet light are the causes, then antibiotic eye drops might be prescribed to fix the problem.
If dry eyes are the reason for the bacterial infection then a special formulation that simulates tears may be prescribed. If the keratitis is the result of a side effect of a medicine is then your doctor may advise you take another medicine or halt your prescription until the keratitis clears up.
Cleaning the eye with sterile cotton tipped applicator can accelerate the. To treat severe cases, corneal transplants may be necessary.
It is crucial to treat keratitis before the tissue of the cornea is ruined and scar tissue is created. It is a painful disease but harmful ulcers can form on the eye lens without you feeling any pain.
If diagnosed early most cases of keratitis clear up quickly. If vision is impaired by keratitis surgery may be required to restore sight. Procrastinating in getting treatment is likely to cause partial or total blindness.
Prevention of Keratitis
Keratitis is easily prevented. Preventing it is mostly a matter of personal hygiene. Washing hands after visiting the toilet and during periods of illness is especially important.
If you wear contact lens you need to follow a program of hygiene as religiously as possible. You should sterilize and disinfect your type of contact lens as prescribed. You should also never sleep with your contact lenses in. If your eyes become irritated take your contact lenses out immediately until you know the source of the irritation.
Wear protective glasses or goggles to prevent dust or particles from flying into the eyes and causing keratitis.
Finally it is important to have a well balanced diets that includes foods that contain Vitamin A such as carrots and squash.