Herpes Simplex Keratitis

What is Herpes Simplex Keratitis?

Herpes Simplex Keratitis (HSK) is an infection of the cornea caused by the Herpes virus. The earliest sign of active viral replication in the cornea is the development of small, raised, clear vesicles.

Symptoms of the condition include Eye pain, watering and redness. The localised infection can often be treated very effectively but if it is left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the vision.

The virus is present in over 99% of the population and lives within the host indefinitely as there is no way to eradicate the virus completely. In some people, the virus will cause an infection of the cornea which initially presents with pain, watering and redness.

This is a clinical diagnosis made by examination. Sometimes, doctors can perform swabs to test for the presence of this virus.

The virus itself cannot be eradicated so recurrences are treated as and when they occur. However, if attacks are frequent, then treatment can be given to reduce the episodes in order to reduce the risk of damage and improve quality of life.

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