Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including infection, injury, and certain medical conditions. Keratitis can be a serious condition that can lead to vision loss if not treated promptly.
There are several types of keratitis, each with its own specific causes and symptoms. One of the most common types is bacterial keratitis, which is caused by an infection of the cornea with bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus. Symptoms of bacterial keratitis can include eye pain, redness, and discharge.
Another common type of keratitis is viral keratitis, which is caused by a viral infection such as herpes simplex or varicella-zoster virus. Symptoms of viral keratitis can include eye pain, redness, and a feeling of grittiness in the eye.
Fungal keratitis is caused by a fungal infection, and symptoms can include eye pain, redness, and a cloudy appearance to the cornea. Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare but serious type of keratitis that is caused by a microscopic organism found in soil and water, it is associated with the use of contact lenses if not properly cleaned or disinfected.
Treatment for keratitis depends on the underlying cause. Bacterial and viral keratitis can be treated with antibiotics or antiviral medications, respectively. Fungal keratitis is treated with antifungal medications. Acanthamoeba keratitis requires the use of specific antimicrobial agents and may require a prolonged treatment.
To prevent keratitis, it is important to practice good hygiene and take proper care of your eyes. This includes washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching or rubbing your eyes, and not sharing personal items such as towels or contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and disinfecting them, and to avoid swimming or showering while wearing them.