Eyes are one of the most sensitive yet important part of the human body. Vision allows us to see things and make informed everyday decisions. But if your eyes get damaged due to any reason be it a disease or disorder or accidental, this could hamper your vision as well as quality of life. Thus, keeping your eyes healthy is very very important. Cornea is a part of your eye that works as a barrier against harmful particles and ensures clearer vision. However, there are some diseases that affect cornea and hence, called corneal diseases. Know more about them in this article.
Cornea is an important component of the eye. This prevents germs, dirt, dust and other harmful particles from entering the eye and hampering eyesight. This also filters the harmful UV rays that can penetrate into the cornea and cause complications to the eyes. Damage to cornea can hamper your vision as this eye component is responsible for reflecting light that helps us to see things properly. If your cornea gets damaged for any given reason, it can cause several corneal diseases.
As per Dr. Hemant Todkar, Senior Ophthalmologist at Ruby Hall Clinic Pune, Keratitis is basically infection of the eyes that makes the cornea swell. Generally, when a bacteria or fungi or other microorganisms enter the eye, it can injure your cornea and the entire eye. The injury can cause inflammation which can increase upto infection and ulceration of the cornea. In some people, keratitis can also occur upon wearing contact lenses and not keeping eye hygiene.
Symptoms of keratitis include:
- Corneal discharge
- Pain in the eye
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
This is another progressive eye disease that causes thinning of cornea which eventually changes the shape of the cornea. The curvature of cornea gets changes and this may even cause its distortion leading to nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism. Vision loss and scarring are also caused dut to keratoconus. Some of the common causes of this progressive eye disease are:
- Hereditary or genetic where there is family history of keratoconus
- Aggressively rubbing the eyes
- Use of contact lenses
- Allergic reactions such as conjunctivitis or eczema or hay fever
- Eye diseases like retinopathy
- People with other diseases like Addison's disease, Down syndrome, etc.
Keratoconus can be treated at the initial stage using contact lenses but in the long run, it requires proper medical aid.
Eye Herpes or Ocular Herpes
Herpes is generally perceived as a condition of the skin but your eyes can also get herpes which is called herpes of the eyes. This is a viral infection caused by the HSV I or herpes simplex virus I. You would see cold sores on the cornea or outer surface of the eyes that can aggravate scarring and lead to temporary or permanent vision loss. This condition is non-treatable but can be managed with antiviral drugs.
Shingles or Herpes zoster
Shingles is actually recurrent chickenpox where people who have got chickenpox in the past gets it again. The chickenpox virus may remain in the body for months and years and may travel to a body part including your eyes. Due to this, eye pain and blistering can occur. These corneal lesions are most likely to heal on their own, however, you can take antiviral treatment for faster recovery. In some cases, severe inflammation can occur that should be provided immediate medical aid.
Keeping your eyes safe and protected from infections can avert corneal diseases. Ensue to keep your eyes clean and wash them after coming back home. Also, maintain proper eye care if you wear contact lenses as they increase the risk of infections.
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