Ocular Herpes

Herpes of the eye, or ocular herpes, is a recurrent viral infection that is caused by the herpes simplex virus and is the most common infectious cause of corneal blindness in the United States. The herpes simplex virus is present in most humans and many people manifest the virus as fever blisters around the mouth. Why only some people develop herpes in the eye is unknown.

Ocular herpes can produce a painful sore on the eyelid or surface of the eye and cause inflammation of the cornea. Prompt treatment with anti-viral medications helps to stop the herpes virus from multiplying and destroying epithelial cells. Repeated flare-ups can lead to significant scarring and possibly blindness. In some cases, a corneal transplant may be required.

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