Herpes virus in the Eyes (An Introduction)

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Most folks are shocked to know that two herpesvirus types – the one that triggers cold sores as well as the one that results in chickenpox – can give rise to a condition known as herpetic eye disease (herpes virus in the eyes). Unlike a distinct virus that results in genital herpes, the ocular herpetic disease isn’t sexually transmitted.

One of the herpesviruses that cause herpes disease in the eye is known as the varicella-zoster virus. It’s the same herpes virus that triggers shingles and chickenpox. When the eye is affected by the virus, it is referred to as herpes zoster ophthalmicus.

The other virus that results in herpetic eye disease is HSV-1, which is the same herpes virus that causes oral cold sores. In the eye, it typically causes a corneal infection. This infection is known as herpes simplex keratitis.

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Development Herpetic Eye Disease

Like many other viruses, the varicella-zoster and HSV-1 viruses are present in the majority of adults. The herpes virus in the eyes in this family typically resides around the human nerve fibers without ever triggering a problem. Sometimes, the viruses will begin to reproduce, or they will travel from one body area to another, and that’s when the herpetic disease starts. This frequently occurs when the body’s immune system is deteriorated by some other health issue.

Diagnosing Herpetic Eye Disease

The two types of herpes that cause eye disease have distinctive symptoms. However, one thing they have shared is that both viruses be very excruciating, as they directly affect the nerves. Possibly, the problem is herpes zoster ophthalmicus if the doctor finds a few or all of the following symptoms:

• Pain around and in only one eye
• Fever and headache
• Rash, redness, or sores around the eyes and on the eyelids, particularly on the forehead.

The rash sometimes appears on the tip portion of the nose.

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• Eye redness
• Blurry vision
• Cloudiness and swelling of the cornea

Possibly, the problem is herpes simplex keratitis if the doctor observes these symptoms:

• Pain around and in only one eye
• Eye redness
• Sensation of “grit” or dirt in the eye
• Overflowing tears
• Pain when staring at bright light
• Cloudiness or swelling of the cornea

Your doctor could utilize special examinations if it appears like herpetic eye disease could be present. For example, the pressure within the eye will perhaps be checked. Also, there is a special dye known as fluorescein that your doctor could put into your eye. Under UV light this dye glows and will indicate if the virus is causing troubles on the eye surface.