• Keratitis: symptoms and treatment, photos, causes

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    Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea of ​​the eye. Occurs as an independent disease as a result of infection of the eye or as a complication after conjunctivitis or dacryocystitis.

    Keratitis in its symptoms may be similar to conjunctivitis, but its complications are more extensive and serious.

    So, the defeat of the upper layer of the cornea does not lead to scarring, but deep keratitis is always marked by the appearance of scars, which can significantly reduce visual acuity.

    Causes of keratitis

    Why does keratitis develop, and what is it? Depending on the causes that lead to inflammation of the cornea, keratitis is allergic, bacterial, traumatic, fungal, herpetic, and also amoebic.

    1. Allergic keratitis is very similar to allergic conjunctivitis. Quite often, this kind of conjunctivitis is the cause of inflammation of the cornea. Allergic keratitis in severe form is marked by a lesion of the anterior and posterior parts of the eye, which often leads to sclerosis of the eye's shell.
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    3. Bacterial keratitis occurs as a result of the entry into the eye of bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus, as well as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Most often it is to blame for neglecting the proper care of contact lenses. In addition, these bacteria are transferred by hand, so a person can become infected with them if the local immunity of the mucous eye decreases.
    4. In a separate group, traumatic keratitis is isolated, which results from trauma to the eye and its subsequent infection. Trauma can be mechanical, chemical and thermal.
    5. When infecting the eye with parasitic fungi, fungal keratitis develops. It is difficult to diagnose, which often leads to mistakes in treatment and, as a consequence, to the defeat of deep layers of the cornea with subsequent complications.
    In addition to the above, isolated keratitis, resulting from infection with the herpes virus. Inflammation of this nature is often deep, affecting all layers of the cornea and forming a deep thorn.

    Of bacterial keratitis, isolated keratitis, resulting from infection with amoebic infection. Amoebic keratitis develops as a result of violation of the rules for the use and storage of contact lenses. In the risk zone, there are people who use running water or self-made solutions to clean contact lenses, as well as those who bathe in rivers and lakes in contact lenses.

    The simplest amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba live in fresh water. Getting into the eyes, for example, when bathing, they are washed off with a tear fluid, but in case of wearing a lens, they fall into the space between the eye and the lens, which can lead to keratitis.

    Symptoms of keratitis

    For all types of keratitis, characteristic symptoms differ little from each other. A pain syndrome of varying severity is developed, as well as photophobia, which extends not only to daylight, but also to artificial light.

    Sometimes the primary symptom of keratitis can be the sensation of a foreign body in the eyes, followed by reddening of the eyes. In a number of cases, blepharospasm develops - involuntary closing of the eyelids, which occurs as a result of irritation of the trigeminal nerve receptors.

    With any keratitis, corneal opacity is observed. If the inflammation has affected only the superficial layers of the cornea, opacities can dissolve without traces.

    But in the case of deep keratitis, turbidity leads to the formation of a thorn and, as a consequence, to a decrease in visual acuity. Opacification can be yellow, gray, pink or white, without clear edges and different sizes.

    Treatment of keratitis

    Proper diagnosis of keratitis is extremely important for further successful treatment. Often, keratitis is mistaken for conjunctivitis, especially in the case of its allergic nature, which explains the number of cases of erroneous treatment.

    First of all, external examination of the eyes is important in the diagnosis of keratitis, which gives the doctor an opportunity to understand the severity of the symptoms and the presence or absence of signs characteristic of the inflammation of the cornea.

    Depending on the type and severity of keratitis, the following diagnostic methods are used:

    • biomicroscopy of the eye;
    • endothelial and confocal microscopy of the cornea;
    • computer keratometry;
    • keratotopography;
    • bacterioscopy;
    • bacteriological and cytological examination;
    • fluorescein instillation test, etc.
    Depending on the results obtained, this or that treatment is prescribed. Since keratitis in most cases has a harmful effect on visual acuity, the therapy is carried out in a specialized hospital.

    Treatment regimens depend on the type of keratitis.

    1. 1) Bacterial keratitis is treated with antibiotics in the form of eye drops and ointments. In particularly severe cases, eye injections may be necessary.
    2. 2) Herpetic keratitis uses acyclovir, as well as immunostimulating therapy. In cases of severe pain, any type of keratitis is prescribed local and general anesthetics. With the sensation of "sand in the eyes" can be prescribed a drug of artificial tears.
    3. 3) The scheme of treatment of allergic keratitis is similar to therapy of allergic conjunctivitis. Need antihistamines and symptomatic treatment.
    If drug therapy does not lead to the proper effect, then surgical treatment is shown, which consists in scraping the cornea of ​​the eye. In severe forms of keratitis, layered or through keratoplasty is shown with subsequent rehabilitation.

    In the treatment of keratitis, it is very important to stop wearing contact lenses and protect your eyes from getting irritating substances.

    Prognosis and prophylaxis for keratitis

    With proper diagnosis and timely treatment, the prognosis of keratitis is favorable, as in this case it is possible to slow down the damage to the cornea, and hence the negative impact on the person's vision. But if the lesion affected the inner layers of the cornea, then timely treatment may not prevent the development of the belly and, as a consequence, reduce visual acuity.

    Prevention of keratitis includes measures that prevent the development of this disease. So, to these measures can be attributed the correct use and storage of contact lenses. In many cases, keratitis occurs as a result of an infection transmitted through contaminated contact lenses. That's why you need to clean the lenses after each socks, use special solutions and containers for this, and do not touch them with dirty or wet hands.

    In addition, in the prevention of keratitis, timely and effective treatment of conjunctivitis plays a big role, since in its case keratitis is a complication. It is also important to carry out anti-herpes therapy to avoid the defeat of the eyes with herpes, and general restorative therapy that will maintain immunity at the proper level.

    It is necessary to protect eyes from injuries that, if infected, can lead to keratitis.

    Complications of keratitis

    There are not many complications of keratitis, but they are all quite serious. On the cornea due to inflammation, scars and opacities are formed, which reduce the visual acuity of a person. In addition, the choroid of the eyes may become inflamed, endophthalmitis and secondary glaucoma can develop.

    Amoebic keratitis, given that the treatment is difficult and does not always give results, can lead to blindness. To avoid keratitis and its complications, it is necessary to consult a doctor at the first manifestations of the disease. Do not self-medicate.

    Keratitis is often confused with conjunctivitis due to the similarity of symptoms, but these are two different diseases that require different therapies. Therefore, timely treatment to the doctor will guarantee a quick recovery without complications.

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