What are the symptoms of eye herpes?

Several common symptoms often occur in an eye herpes infection. If you develop any of these symptoms, you should contact your health care provider to prevent permanent damage to the eye.

Common symptoms of eye herpes

You may experience eye herpes symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times, any of these common symptoms can be severe:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Inflammation of the eye surface (conjunctivitis)
  • Malaise or lethargy
  • Painful bumps on the eyelid or on the eye itself
  • Red, sore eyes (bloodshot eyes)
  • Swollen lymph nodes in front of the ear
  • Uveitis and iritis (inflammation of structures of the eye)
  • Watery discharge

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, eye herpes can be a serious condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these serious symptoms including:

  • Fainting, change in level of consciousness, or lethargy
  • Headache
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Neck stiffness
  • Sudden change in vision, loss of vision, or eye pain

What is eye herpes?

Eye herpes, or ocular herpes, is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes infections that affect the eye are usually caused by HSV type 1 infections, which are also a common cause of cold sores and blisters on the face, rather than type 2 infections, which affect the genitals. In rare cases, an infant can develop an HSV 2 infection during birth when the mother is infec... Read more about eye herpesintroduction


What causes eye herpes?

Eye herpes is caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV), usually type 1. Symptoms can appear soon after infection or at any later time. It is believed that the majority of the population is exposed to HSV at some point in their life, usually during childhood. However, the virus can remain dormant for extended periods of time. When the virus reactivates, it can cause a herpes outbr... Read more about eye herpescauses


How is eye herpes treated?

Treatment for eye herpes begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. Eye herpes is typically treated with antiviral eye drops or topical ointments. More severe cases may be treated with steroid drops. Your doctor may also try to remove affected cells manually by brushing them off of your cornea with a cotton swab.

Although the administration of eye drops or oi... Read more about eye herpestreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Eyes and Vision

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