What is Keratitis?

Eye anatomy 101: your cornea is the clear dome-like shape that lies on top of the colored part of your eye; it’s critical for helping light enter and focus correctly in the eye so you can see.

If and when the cornea becomes inflamed and irritated, a person can be said to have keratitis (aka corneal ulcer). This type of inflammatory process can happen due to one of the several underlying causes, including:

  • Bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infection
  • Improper contact management (that is, wearing contacts too long, not cleaning them properly, or not using proper hand hygiene when handling your contacts)
  • Scratch on the cornea (e.g., from a fingernail, airborne debris, or another foreign object)

In rare cases, keratitis may also be caused by a Vitamin A deficiency.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Keratitis

Keratitis can range from mild to severe, and without treatment it can become worse over time. Some of the most common symptoms noted include:

  • Eye redness and swelling
  • Eye pain, often described as burning, itchy, or gritty
  • Difficulty when opening the eyelids
  • Excessive tearing and watery discharge from the eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Excessive sensitivity to light (called photophobia)
  • Foreign body sensation (feeling like something is in your eye)

How to Prepare for Your Appointment with a Houston Eye Doctor

If you believe you have keratitis, see a Houston eye doctor as soon as possible. Treatment is necessary, otherwise keratitis can devolve into even more complicated problems like blindness.

It’s also important to see an eye doctor because otherwise, you may not know exactly what’s causing your keratitis condition. During an eye exam, one of our Clear Lake optometrists can evaluate your eyes and your clinical history, then devise the most appropriate treatment plan based on your needs.

Common treatments for keratitis includes services such as:

  • Medicated eye drops (to treat infections and reduce swelling)
  • Temporary use of glasses instead of contact lenses
  • Patient education regarding hygiene and symptom relief (e.g., cool compresses)

Are Your Eyes Healthy? Our Clear Lake Optometrists Can Help You Get Better Sight Today

At Space Center Eye Associates, our dedicated team of Clear Lake optometrists is proud to serve the Houston area with excellence in vision and eye care services. If you believe you’re suffering from signs and symptoms of keratitis or any other eye problem, then call Space Center Eye Associates today at 281-480-1002. We’re happy to accept new patients and are always offering certain specials!