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Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1(HSV-1), which causes cold sores, is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids, such as saliva (through kissing).
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2(HSV-2), or genital herpes, is transmitted by sexual intercourse or direct contact with a herpes sore. A periocular herpes outbreak occurred around the eye of a 7-year-old child with a history of recurrent herpes labialis. This patient has a characteristic vesiculopapular herpes simplex lesions on his anterior thigh.
A micrograph picture of the herpes simplex virus, within tissue taken from a penile lesion of a patient with genital herpes.
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This form of herpes will most commonly affect the cornea, or the clear outer layer, of your eye.
This type is when the infection happens inside the lining of the back of your eye or in the retina. The symptoms of herpes of the eye may happen every once in awhile or they could happen on a daily basis and at times may be severe. Herpes of the eye is a viral infection that is usually caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1. This is the type of virus that can pass from one person to another through some type of contact so if a person has a cold sore and you come in contact with it through kissing them or touching the cold sore you could become infected with HSV. Another virus that could cause herpes of the eye is the virus that causes shingles and chickenpox, which is a disease of your nervous system, is called varicella-zoster virus.
To ensure that you get the proper treatment you should see an eye doctor or ophthalmologist. Although it is not curable you should always seek medical attention because if not treated it could result in corneal scarring that is severe and in some cases you may have to have a corneal transplant to get back your normal vision. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.


With type a person can develop blurred vision, redness, pain, and sensitivity to the light which can be severe. Herpes of the eye can also be caused by a person who has an outbreak of this herpes simplex virus type 1 if they touch their eyes during the outbreak. If this particular virus is the cause of herpes of the eye it is referred to as herpes zoster ophthalmicus. Proper treatment will also help make the probability of herpes of the eyes reoccurring less frequent. Genital herpes, with symptoms including lesions on or around the genitals and rectum and even thighs and buttocks, is caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) and is sexually transmitted.
HSV-1 often causes sores (lesions) inside the mouth, such as cold sores (fever blisters), or infection of the eye (especially the conjunctiva and cornea). This type of herpes virus is also the common cause for a person to develop blisters their face and cold sores. Always make sure that you wash your hand thoroughly if you come in contact with this virus.
All cases of herpes of the eye should be treated case by case because some of the treatments could just aggravate the outbreak.
These pictures are among the least graphic and are published here in the interest of providing information to those who may wonder if they or a loved one has contracted herpes.
Doctors refer to the cold sores as recurrent herpes labialis; they are also known as fever blisters.
Of that twenty-five million people, approximately fifty thousand will have either a flare-up or infection each year. It is not totally understood what the cause is for HSV type 1 to develop but it thought to be that many people are exposed in early life to this type of virus with or without having any symptoms of this virus.
There is no known cure for herpes of the eye and treatment is used to help control the outbreak you have. However, none of these images nor the information on this page should be construed as medical advice nor an attempt to make diagnoses.


The physician may prescribe an antiviral eye drop or topical ointments to help reduce any scarring or damage to your eye.
Anyone who thinks they may be infected with the herpes virus should seek medical attention.
There is no cure, but antiviral drugs can cut down on the frequency and severity of outbreaks.
In the United States it is one of the most common infectious reasons for corneal blindness. It is also not known what causes the outbreak of this herpes virus but if you have an immune system that is weakened you are more susceptible to having outbreaks.
The likelihood of childhood infection is higher among those with lower socioeconomic status. Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is usually, but not always, sexually transmitted. If it is necessary the physician may scrape or brush the affected areas of your cornea with a cotton swab to remove manually the affected cells. There is no cure, but antiviral medication can reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks.
Some of the reasons that the herpes simplex virus type 1 can be reactivated may include mental stress, exposure to the sun, or sickness. Sometimes, young children also can get the disease. HSV can infect a fetus and cause abnormalities. A mother who is infected with HSV may transmit the virus to her newborn during vaginal delivery, especially if the mother has an active infection at the time of delivery.
However, 60 - 80% of HSV infections acquired by newborns occur in women who do NOT have symptoms of HSV infection or a history of genital HSV infection. It's possible for the virus to be transmitted even when there are no symptoms or visible sores. The infection may be more severe and last longer in people who have a condition that weakens the immune system. Once an infection occurs, the virus spreads to nerve cells and stays in the body for the rest of a person's life.



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