Individuals with keratitis, present with the following signs and symptoms :
A preliminary physical examination followed by careful study of the signs and symptoms should be carried out. In addition, the following tests can be employed for diagnosing keratitis .
If the condition is diagnosed in early stages and appropriate treatment is given, infections can be treated and onset of vision loss can be prevented. Failure to do so can lead to permanent scarring and long term vision loss. Severe forms of infection can also cause perforation into the cornea leading to loss of the eye.
There are several factors that trigger an attack of keratitis. These include the following:
It has been estimated that about 25,000 individuals in US develop the condition of bacterial keratitis each year. Countries which are less industrialized have fewer cases of infectious keratitis owing to fact that there are less numbers of contact lens users. Severe inflammation of the cornea due to keratitis can be a cause of significant morbidity amongst the affected population .
For infection to occur or for the micro organisms to gain entry into the corneal layer, there must be some kind of physical breakdown of the epithelial layer of the cornea. Such an activity paves way for development of keratitis. An injury to the eye, which causes tear in intact film of corneal epithelium favors the entry of microorganisms where they proliferate and may cause ulceration .
In the initial stages of the disease, the site of injury and infection undergoes swelling and necrosis. Contact lenses when worn for prolonged duration can cause the corneal epithelium to become vulnerable to attack by bacterial or viral agents .
Individuals wearing contact lenses should carefully clean and disinfect their lenses prior to using them every day. Such a habit prevents the development of keratitis. In addition, taking precautionary measures while suffering from viral outbreaks also goes a long way in preventing the onset of keratitis.
Inflammation and pain in the cornea is known is keratitis. Infections and injuries to the eye along with underlying disease conditions can cause keratitis. Mild to moderate cases of keratitis can be easily treated; however, if the condition is left untreated, there can be permanent loss of vision. Individuals suffering from keratitis can experience itchiness in the eyes each time they blink. There are several forms of keratitis depending on the causative factor. Infectious type of keratitis is caused due to bacteria, viruses and fungi. The non-infectious variety is caused due to injury or underlying disease conditions .
Keratitis is a condition, wherein there is inflammation of the cornea of the eye. Infections, physical injury and underlying disease conditions are the cause of keratitis. Individuals wearing contact lenses for prolonged duration are at an increased risk of developing the condition. Affected individuals suffer from redness of the eyes accompanied by pain and irritation. There is increased discharge from the affected eye and blurring of vision. Individuals often experience difficulty in opening their eyes due to pain and irritation.
The treatment depends on the cause of keratitis. If bacterial infections are the cause, then antibiotics drops along with medications form the basis of treatment. If parasitic infections are the cause, then corneal transplant may be required. For contact lens wearer, 24-hour eye patch is required.