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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.
It’s basically the reason that humans have an innate fear of irregularly clustered holes.
The Herpes Simplex Virus, known as HSV, is occasionally responsible for the development of herpes of the eye, with epithelial keratitis being the most common variation.
Herpes keratitis is the most common of the eye herpes and also goes by the name herpetic epithelial keratitis – it affects the cornea on the top superficial layer of the surface of the cornea, and since this layer is called the epithelium the adjective epithelial is applied to it. Eye herpes, or ocular herpes as it’s sometimes called, normally comes from type 1 herpes – the cold sore type – but on rare occasions it can come from type 2 herpes which affects the genital area and is far more serious. Whilst herpes cold sores can be treated by oneself without resort to a visit to the doctor, any kind of eye herpes needs to be brought to the attention of therapeutic optometrist or an ophthalmologist for urgent attention. Great care needs to be taken by the eye-care professional in determining which variation is present as treatments are specific and an inappropriate treatment can lead to aggravation. A past symptom is the occurrence at some time or other of type 1 herpes – cold sores on the lips. Eye pain, sensitivity to light, blurred vision and “pink eye” are regular symptoms with excessive tearing being an additional discomfort. Diagnosis requires careful examination with a microscope specific for eyes called a biomicroscope.  This is not a diagnosis that a general practitioner can make and it is certainly not something that you would go to the pharmacist for over the counter drops. Millions of people have a dormant herpes virus inside them from being unintentionally infected by family members kissing them as a young child on the lips.
Fortunately less than 1% of those people will ever have an episode of general herpes, and then less than 1% of those will suffer from epithelial keratitis. As mentioned earlier, care is needed in accurately identifying the particular epithelial keratitis as treatment is specific. An antiviral topical ointment (Zovirax) or alternatively eye drops should be applied – not to eradicate the virus entirely but to slow its growth until nature takes its course and the infection clears up – a sound way to do things!
It’s important then that the full course of treatment is followed – many eye-care specialists complain that patients do not do this, thinking that their condition has cleared up when this is simply not the case.


Dr Jim Kokkinakis (Optometrist) graduated in 1983 from the Optometry School University of NSW. He has a specialist clinical practice in the Sydney CBD with interests in Eye Strain, Computer Vision problems, Treatment of Eye Diseases and complex Contact lens Fittings. Please tell me where you are located as this requires a second opinion as soon as possible.
In a funny way it’s good that the eye version of herpes comes from this Type 1 Herpes as symptoms and treatments are easy to deal with. The jury is out on what Herpes really is, but most people are exposed to the virus in early years and either contract it or not – and if they do contract it the virus lays dormant ready to spring into life again.
The cold sore blisters associated with the herpes seem to come out of nowhere on the oddest occasion, although they do often accompany winter colds.
Of the millions of people who get herpes cold sores every year only about 2% will go on to get an eye herpes infection, and whilst with a cold sore it’s just a case of waiting it out, with the eye version it’s best to consult an eye-care professional such as an optometrist. I was just wondering how long this takes to go away and will I have this come up all the time for the rest of my life. Hi, my 2 year old daughter has contracted mouth herpes and i noticed a couple days ago her eyes were red and sore looking and she was complaining about bright light. By now you will have done something about this, but any time this happens it is important to seek a consultation immediately as more than likely there is a flare up and without aggressive treatment further scarring will occur.
Hello,Dr Jim,can you please tell me what else i can do for eye herpes.Virgan gel 5 x daily,also the best Dr to help.
Hi Christina of course there is a possibility this will clear, but I would recommend a second opinion. 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. There are a number of herpes eye variations depending on where in the eye the herpes itself decides to initiate its inflammatory action. All of these symptoms are indications of other eye diseases and infections, particularly conjunctivitis, so an accurate diagnosis for epithelial keratitis is often fraught with difficulty. It is essential in such cases that the services of an eye-care specialist such as an optometrist are sought early as loss of vision might be a long term outcome. After treatment (pred forte) she continued to suffer from keratitis and it has become a chronic condition. They weren’t particularly watery and there was no puss like usually seen in conjunctivitis. 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. It is now 8 months since her initial diagnosis and the opthalmologist has now told us that the condition, which initially was considered post viral keratitis has now changed, and has become herpetic. Keratitis is responsible for causing corneal ulcer, an open sore or erosion in the outer layer of cornea. The key is to make sure you have a good optometrist that is therapeutically qualified to monitor you. 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. Because then you catch weird shit like chlamydia of the eyeball, and nobody fucking wants that, okay?)Its basically hard-wired into our collective cultural memory that little round dots all up on your shit is the fastest way to end up dead (or really, really, REALLY wishing you were). Herpes simplex keratitis infects the superficial layer of the cornea with diffuse branching or punctuates lesions on the epithelium which excludes the stroma. The physician may prescribe an antiviral eye drop or topical ointments to help reduce any scarring or damage to your eye. The application of topical glucocoticoid to the infected eye can worsen the infection and lead to the inclusion of the stromal structure. 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. Whenever you feel self-conscious about your acne, or your eczema or your psoriasis or whatever thing you have that makes you want to never leave the house ever?
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. Some of the reasons that the herpes simplex virus type 1 can be reactivated may include mental stress, exposure to the sun, or sickness. Just remember that Herpes is scary common, syphilis is making a comeback (no glove, no goddamn love, okay?



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