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- Patient Comments: Keratitis - Types
- Patient Comments: Keratitis - Signs and Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Keratitis - Risk Factors
- Patient Comments: Keratitis - Treatment
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- Keratitis facts
- What is keratitis?
- What are the causes of keratitis?
- What are the different types of keratitis?
- What are the risk factors for keratitis?
- What are keratitis symptoms and signs?
- How is keratitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for keratitis?
- What are the possible complications of keratitis?
- Can keratitis be prevented?
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What are the risk factors for keratitis?
Major risk factors for the development of keratitis include any break or disruption of the surface layer (epithelium) of the cornea.
The use of contact lenses increases the risk of developing keratitis, especially if hygiene is poor, improper solutions are used to store and clean the lenses, or if contact lenses are worn improperly or in the presence of persistent irritation.
A decrease in the quality or quantity of tears predisposes the eye to the development of keratitis.
What are keratitis symptoms and signs?
The symptoms of keratitis usually include pain, tearing, redness, and blurring of vision. The pain may be mild to severe, depending on the cause and extent of the inflammation. Sensitivity to light may also be present. To the observer, the eye may appear red and watery; and if the cornea has extensive keratitis, the normally clear cornea may look gray or have white to gray areas.
How is keratitis diagnosed?
The diagnosis of keratitis is made by an ophthalmologist (a physician who specializes in diseases and surgery of the eye) through a history and a physical examination. The history consists of questions documenting a past medical and ocular history and the symptoms specific to the current visit. The eye examination will consist of checking your vision and careful inspection of the corneas using a slit lamp, which is a microscope with excellent illumination and magnification to view the ocular surface and the cornea in detail. Special dye in the form of eyedrops may be placed in the eyes to assist with the examination.
In cases in which infection is suspected, a culture may be taken from the surface of the eye for specific identification of the bacteria, virus, fungus, or parasite causing the keratitis. Blood tests may also be done in certain patients with suspected underlying disease.