DESCRIPTIONKeratitis is an inflammation of the cornea (the clear central portion of the eye that covers the pupil).
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's (ophthalmologist's) monitoring of general condition, medications, and treatment.
Surgery to replace the cornea with a transplanted cornea from a donor (severe cases only).
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSEye pain.
Photophobia (sensitivity to light).
CAUSESBacterial, viral or fungal infections. The most common is the herpes simplex virus, Type I.
Drying of the eye caused by an eyelid disorder or insufficient tear formation.
Foreign object in the eye.
Intense light, such as from welding arcs or the reflection of intense sunlight from snow or water. (Symptoms may not appear for 24 hours after exposure.)
Vitamin A deficiency.
Allergy or sensitivity to eye cosmetics, air pollution, airborne particles (pollen, dust, mold, or yeasts) and other allergens.
RISK FACTORSPoor nutrition, especially insufficient vitamin A.
Illness that has lowered resistance.
Crowded or unsanitary living conditions.
Viral infections elsewhere in the body, especially cold sores or genital herpes.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Urge your child to wear protective glasses during activities that involve eye hazards.
Encourage your child to eat a well-balanced diet that contains sufficient vitamin A, or to take multiple-vitamin supplements containing vitamin A.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory culture of the discharge from the eye.
Ulceration of the cornea.
Permanent scarring in the eye.
Depends on the cause. With early treatment, most types of keratitis are curable.
HOME CAREA temporary eye patch is often necessary. It may limit your child's ability to take care of himself.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe:
-- Antibiotic or anti-viral eye drops and ointments.
-- Artificial tears.
Don't treat any eye inflammation without consulting your doctor. Don't use non-prescription eye drops containing topical corticosteroids. These may worsen the condition or cause eyeball perforation.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Eye patching will restrict activity. Your child can resume normal activities gradually.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When treatment is complete and no symptoms persist.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of keratitis.
Your child's vision diminishes in any way.