Ocular herpes or eye herpes is an infection of the eye caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This is a common, recurrent infection which can cause sores on the eyelid or can affect deeper layers of a person’s eyes and their vision. There is no cure for herpes so the virus lays dormant in the nerve cells and can travel along the nerves to the eye when activated.
For the most part, eye herpes affects the clear topmost portion of the eye. This infection is known as epithelial keratitis. With this condition, seek a doctor who could prescribe an antiviral eye drop or an antiviral medication to suppress your outbreaks.
Sometimes eye herpes can affect the deeper layers of the cornea when it is known as stromal keratitis. This more serious infection can cause scarring on the cornea. If the herpes virus affects the cornea, the inside of the eye, or the retina, a person may find their vision is reduced. With this condition, seek a doctor who could prescribe antiviral eye drops, steroid eye drops, or oral antiviral medications to keep your outbreaks suppressed.
Doctors want to prevent recurrent herpetic eye outbreaks because they can lead to greater eye damage. Watch your diet and reduce your arginine intake and increase your lysine. Learn about the triggers for your outbreaks and keep them to a minimum. Take antiviral treatments to keep your outbreaks in check.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, doctors diagnose about 50,000 new cases of herpes of the eye each year in the United States. There is no cure but doctors can prescribe treatments that reduce the length of symptoms. If you are having recurrent outbreaks or having vision problems, immediately find a specialist to assess and treat your condition!