The treatment for herpes simplex ocular infection varies according to which eye part is affected.
Before you begin to utilize any ointment or eye drops, your ophthalmologist could gently scrape away a few of the infected cells from your eye’s surface. They’ll numb the eye with anaesthetic drops prior to the procedure, which is called debridement.
Epithelial keratitis – affects the superficial (top) layer of the cornea
Treatment is with antiviral drops or eye ointment (such as ganciclovir gel or Acyclovir ointment). These don’t destroy the virus but inhibit it from reproducing further until the eye infection disappears. You must take the entire course just as prescribed. Frequently, this is several times per day for up to 14 days. The goal is to inhibit damage to the cornea (the transparent frontal portion of the eye).
Stromal keratitis – affects the deeper layer of the cornea
Treatment is the same as epithelial keratitis (above). Aside from the antiviral drops or eye ointment, your specialist could include steroid eye drops. This aids to diminish inflammation. And take note that steroid eye drops should only be utilized under the close supervision of the specialist. The specialist will prescribe the accurate dose and strength along with antiviral treatment. If wrongly used, steroid drops result in more damage than good.
Antiviral tablets could be utilized in some instances.
The eyelids or the conjunctiva (thin lining of the eyelid) are affected
These infections will typically resolve on their own in one to three weeks. Treatment may not be advised. You are expected to be examined or checked, until the infection disappears, to assess that the cornea doesn’t become infected.
Note that if you have herpes infection of the eye, you shouldn’t wear contact lenses until a day after the infection and the symptoms have totally gone away.
Can herpes infection of the eye recur?
Some individuals develop recurring episodes of an active herpes infection. As mentioned earlier, these happen if the virus re-triggers occasionally – like cold sores. A recurring infection could take pace anytime between several weeks and numerous years after the initial active infection.
At least 50% of individuals who have an episode of active herpes infection will experience a recurrence within ten years from the primary infection. Recurrences take place more frequently in some individuals than others.
If recurrences are severe or frequent, your ophthalmologist could recommend that you take oral antiviral education every day to inhibit episodes of an active herpes infection. Studies have revealed that, usually, the number of herpes recurrences is approximately halved in individuals who take regular oral antiviral medication.
Some people state that active herpes infection episodes may be activated by strong sunlight. Therefore, wearing sunglasses could also aid to prevent recurrences. Moreover, it is likely that active infection could be triggered if you’re unwell or in bad condition for another reason. On the other hand, the proof for this is inadequate. A few women state that they get herpes recurrences around their menstruation period, but again there’s inadequate proof to support this.
If a herpes recurrence does occur, every episode is treated or managed as mentioned above.