If you are suffering from pain in and around one eye, along with redness, headache, blurry vision, and swelling of your cornea, you may be suffering from herpes zoster.
Herpes zoster is one of the two herpes viruses that affects the eye. Herpes zoster is caused by the same type of virus that causes cold sores and chicken pox. Instead of afflicting the skin, it manifests itself in the eye.
Many individuals harbor the herpes virus in their bodies. However, the disease usually lives peacefully with the nerve fibers in the body. Some individuals may never suffer from an outbreak; instead, the virus stays dormant.
When the body becomes stressed, normally due to a weakened immune system, the herpes virus starts to multiply, causing an outbreak. Outbreaks are common after a major illness, surgery, or during a particularly stressful time in one's life.
If your optometrist suspects that you are suffering from herpes zoster, a test can help diagnose the disease.
To perform the test, your eye doctor will stain the eye with a special dye. Your optometrist then looks at the eye using an ultraviolet light so that the dye glows. If the herpes virus is present, your doctor can tell thanks to the glowing of the dye.
Once your doctor knows that the herpes virus is present, your symptoms are used to help decide which herpes virus is affecting your eye.
Treatment for herpes zoster varies based on the severity of the outbreak.
Mild cases of herpes zoster are treated with a round of antiviral pills. It is important to completely finish the prescription to keep the virus from returning.
Severe cases of herpes zoster can affect the cornea of the eye. Corticosteroid eye drops are usually prescribed along with an antiviral medication for these more severe cases. However, the corticosteroid eye drops can raise the pressure of the eye to an unhealthy level. Your optometrist will have you regularly return while you are using the drops to monitor the pressure of the eye.
Another type of eye drop used in conjunction with corticosteroid drops is medication that dilates the pupils. Keeping the pupils dilated helps stabilize the pressure in the eye.
While you are undergoing treatment for an outbreak of herpes zoster, you should avoid wearing contact lenses.
Severe cases of herpes zoster may scar the cornea, requiring surgery to repair the damage.
Herpes zoster has a relatively high recurrence rate. Decrease the time you suffer from future infections by visiting your optometrist at the first sign of an outbreak. Mild antiviral pills may be prescribed to decrease the chance of future outbreaks.Share
16 December 2016
Hello, my name is Simon. Welcome to my site about optical goods. Until recently, my vision remained at a borderline level, so I only needed glasses for reading. As old age set in, my vision started to rapidly decline. I was given a prescription for stronger lenses that I had to wear full time. Since the prescription drastically changed, I had to take care while selecting the frames and lenses from the various options available at the optician’s office. I will use this site to walk everyone through the eye exam and optical goods selection process. Please feel free to stop by anytime to learn about optical goods.