Corneal Infections in Portland, Maine

About Corneal Infections
The outermost layer of the Cornea is called the epithelium. If can be damaged from trauma of any type, including a foreign body such as a piece of metal, a poke in the eye from a branch or a finger, or even from a dirty or damaged contact lens.  It is then possible for bacteria, viruses or fungi to penetrate the Cornea and cause an infection. An infection of the cornea is called Keratitis or Ulceration. Keratitis can cause a painful inflammation with a discharge, which if not treated quickly and appropriately, can lead to corneal scarring and loss of vision. Corneal scarring results in a loss of corneal transparency and can necessitate corneal transplantation to restore vision.  Pain and redness are common in corneal infections, but not all infections are painful. 

If Dr. Sise suspects that you have a corneal infection, he will look for certain diagnostic signs to help him decide the best course of treatment. The treatment may include an antibiotic eye drop that acts against the suspected organism and it may also include a steroid eye drop to help reduce the inflammation.  Depending on the type of infection suspected, pills may also be prescribed.

Herpes Zoster Keratitis (Shingles)
Herpes Zoster Keratitis is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, named Varicella-Zoster Virus. It is though that the Varicella-Zoster Virus remains in the nerve cells of your body in an inactive state long after having chicken pox earlier in life. The Varicella-Zoster Virus can reactivate later in life and travel through the nerves in your body causing a painful blistering rash.  If the Varicella-Zoster Virus travels to your head or neck, it can affect the eye and the cornea.

It is critical to have an Eyecare Medical Group physician diagnose this quickly as the infection can penetrate deeper into the cornea and cause scarring.  The infection can also result in a loss of corneal sensation, which can be permanent. Dr. Sise may prescribe both oral medications and eye drops to try and resolve the infection and prevent serious damage from occurring.

It is possible for anyone who has been exposed to the Varicella-Zoster Virus to get shingles, however it most frequently seems to affect those of advanced age and those with weakened or suppressed immune systems. Further, corneal problems from shingles may occur many months after the facial shingles appear to have resolved. Therefore, if you have had facial shingles it is important for you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sise.

Ocular Herpes and Herpes Keratitis
Ocular Herpes or Herpes of the eye is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus and is the most common causes of corneal blindness in the United States today. Up to 50% of people who have a single Herpes Simplex viral infection of the eye will experience a flare up or recurrence. The virus often leads to irreversible scarring of the cornea.

Ocular Herpes may start as a painful sore on the eyelid or surface of the eye. If left untreated, it may multiply and begin to destroy epithelial cells and progress deeper into the cornea. If the Ocular Herpes penetrates the deeper layers of the cornea and causes a Stromal Keratitis it may cause corneal scarring-so prompt diagnosis and treatment of Ocular Herpes is important.
It is estimated that 400,000 people in the United States have had some type of Ocular Herpes, with more than 50,000 initial and recurring cases being diagnosed each year. Of these, it is believed that 25% are the more severe form of Herpes Stromal Keratitis. The recurrence of Herpes Simplex eye infections is significant in that it appears to recur in about 10% of patients with one year, 23% of patients within two years and 63% of patients within 20 years of their initial infection. Sometimes a recurrence can be prompted by sunlight, stress, fevers or an unrelated eye injury.

Our physicians may prescribe both oral medications and eye drops to try and resolve the infection and prevent serious damage from occurring. Prompt diagnosis and medication is key to preventing any vision loss.

If you or a family member or friend needs information or an appointment regarding  a Corneal Infection including Herpes Simplex or eye shingles Herpes Zoster eye infections or any type of eye Herpes as well as any type of Keratitis or Corneal Ulcer, please take a moment to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine at 888-374-2020.

Eyecare Medical Group Cornea Specialists offer eye exams for all types of Corneal Infections including Corneal Ulcers, eye shingles Herpes Zoster Infection & Keratitis, Herpes Simplex Infection & Keratitis or eye Herpes of any type in Maine. We are conveniently located for patients from Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.

Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine is conveniently located for patients with Cataracts interested in
Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants (IOL), LASIK, Diabetic Eye Problems, Macular Degeneration (AMD), Glaucoma,
Diseases and Surgery of the Retina & Cornea including Retinal Detachment & Cornea Transplants.