- Eye Diseases Pictures Slideshow
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- Eyes and Eye Conditions Quiz
- Patient Comments: Herpes of the Eye - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Herpes of the Eye - Symptoms at Time of Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Herpes of the Eye - How it Develops
- Find a local Eye Doctor in your town
- What are herpes viruses?
- Which types of herpes viruses can affect the eyes?
- What parts of the eyes are susceptible to herpes viruses?
- Who is at risk for herpes infections of the eyes?
- What are the signs and symptoms of herpes eye infections?
- How are herpes eye infections diagnosed?
- How are herpes eye infections treated?
- What are the possible risks and complications of untreated herpes eye infections?
- What is the prognosis of herpes eye infections?
- Can herpes eye infections be prevented?
Who is at risk for herpes infections of the eyes?
Although a very large percentage of the population (85% or more) carries the HSV-1 virus, not everyone who carries the virus gets an eye infection.
When a person carrying the virus becomes immunocompromised (for example their immune system becomes weakened) due to HIV, medications (steroids, chemotherapy), age, and perhaps stress, the virus is more likely to become "active" and incite an outbreak that may include an eye infection.
However in many (if not most) cases of HSV infection, the frequency of eye infections appears to be random and not necessarily associated with episodes of stress or immune weakness. In fact, studies have suggested that the particular subtype of HSV-1 that an individual harbors has as much to do with the frequency of eye infections as the individual's immune status.
What are the signs and symptoms of herpes eye infections?
The most common presentation for ocular HSV and HZV infection is pain, blurred vision, redness, tearing, and light sensitivity in one eye. HZV is also often accompanied by a shingles rash (small "vesicles," or blisters) on the forehead on the side that is affected and sometimes the tip of the nose.