Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea ie. the clear, dome-shaped tissue on the front of our eye that covers the pupil and iris.
SYMPTOMS OF KERATITIS
Signs and symptoms of keratitis include:
- Eye redness
- Eye pain
- Excess tears or other discharge from eye
- Difficulty opening eyelid because of pain or irritation
- Blurred vision
- Decreased vision
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- A feeling that something is in eye
CAUSES OF KERATITIS
Causes of keratitis include:
- Injury-If any object scratches or injures the surface of cornea, noninfectious keratitis may result. In addition, an injury may allow microorganisms to gain access to the damaged cornea, causing infectious keratitis.
- Contaminated contact lenses-Bacteria, fungi or parasites particularly the microscopic parasite acanthamoeba may inhabit the surface of a contact lens or contact lens carrying case. The cornea may become contaminated when the lens is in our eye, resulting in infectious keratitis. Over-wearing contact lenses can cause keratitis, which can become infectious.
- Viruses-The herpes viruses (herpes simplex and herpes zoster) may cause keratitis.
- Bacteria-The bacterium that causes gonorrhea can cause keratitis.
- Contaminated water-Bacteria, fungi and parasites in water particularly in oceans, rivers, lakes and hot tubs can enter the eyes while swimming and result in keratitis. However, even if one are exposed to these bacteria, fungi or parasites, a healthy cornea is unlikely to become infected unless there has been some previous breakdown of the corneal surface for example, wearing a contact lens too long.
RISK FACTORS OF KERATITIS
Factors that may increase risk of keratitis include:
Contact lenses-Wearing contact lenses especially sleeping in the lenses increases risk of both infectious and noninfectious keratitis. The risk typically stems from wearing them longer than recommended, improper disinfection or wearing contact lenses while swimming.
Keratitis is more common in people who use extended-wear contacts, or wear contacts continuously, than in those who use daily wear contacts and take them out at night.
- Reduced immunity-If one immune system is compromised due to disease or medications,they are at higher risk of developing keratitis.
- Corticosteroids- Use of corticosteroid eyedrops to treat an eye disorder can increase risk of developing infectious keratitis or worsen existing keratitis.
- Eye injury- If one of the corneas has been damaged from an injury in the past, they may be more vulnerable to developing keratitis.
COMPLICATIONS OF KERATITIS
- Chronic corneal inflammation and scarring
- Chronic or recurrent viral infections of your cornea
- Open sores on your cornea (corneal ulcers)
- Temporary or permanent reduction in your vision
PREVENTION OF KERATITIS
Caring for contact lenses
If one wear contact lenses, proper use, cleaning and disinfecting can help prevent keratitis. Follow these tips:
- Choose daily wear contacts, and take them out before going to sleep.
- Wash, rinse and dry hands thoroughly before handling the contacts.
- Follow the eye care professional's recommendations for taking care of lenses.
- Use only sterile products that are made specifically for contact lens care, and use lens care products made for the type of lenses you wear.
- Gently rub the lenses during cleaning to enhance the cleaning performance of the contact lens solutions. Avoid rough handling that might cause lenses to become scratched.
- Replace contact lenses as recommended.
- Replace contact lens case every three to six months.
- Discard the solution in the contact lens case each time while disinfecting lenses. Do not "top off" the old solution that is already in the case.
- Do not wear contact lenses while going to swimming.
HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINE FOR KERATITIS
AURUM MET : Useful for keratitis when orbits feel sore and tense.There is pain in bones around the eyes. Also very useful for photophobia.Given when cornea looks vascular and experiences pain from inwards.There is constant lachrymation.Recommended when patient see fiery objects, black spots, flames and sparkles before the eyes. Useful when condition are worse from sunset to sunrise.Suitable medicine for syphilitic and mercurial patients, nervous and hysterical women.
MERC SOL : Very useful for syphilitic keratitis with burning pain.Given when lids are thick, swollen and scurfy, agglutinated in the morning.Also given when lids close spasmodically.Very helpul in photophobia ,foggy vision, black spots, sparks and flames before the eyes.
SULPHUR : Very useful for parenchymatous keratitis where the cornea looks like ground glass.There is painful inflammation of the eyes as if from the presence of a foreign body.Helpful medicine for first stage of ulceration of cornea.Very useful for photophobia with parenchymatous keratitis.There is heat and burning in eyes with bursting sensation having quivering of eyelids.
CONIUM : Useful for keratitis with photophobia and excessive lachrymation. There is corneal pustules with burning in the eyes.Also useful for Diplopia with keratitis.
KALI BICHROME : Very useful for keratitis when mucous membrances is especially affected.Useful for Corneal ulcers without pain and photophobia. Recommendeed when there is supraorbital neuralgia mostly right sided. There is slight pain with severe ulceration and inflammation. Useful for dense opacities of the cornea.Suitable edicine for Photophobia which occur only by daylight.
HEPAR SULPH : Useful for keratitis having tendency to haemorrhage and ulceration.There is great sensitiveness to touch and air.There is pain in the eyes as if pulled back into the head with soreness of eyeballs which are sore to touch.Very useful in psoric and scrofulous diathesis.
SILICEA : Useful for pustular or perforating keratitis.There is inflammation of eyes with an affinity for the canthi, with sharp pains.Also there is tender to touch.Given when there is aversion to light, especially daylight, produces dazzling.Useful for perforating or sloughing ulcer of cornea.
OR AS DIRECTED BY PHYSICIAN