Keratitis

If the outermost layer of the eye (cornea) becomes inflamed this is called keratitis. If untreated, this can lead to loss of vision.

If you think you have symptoms of keratitis then speak to a doctor as soon as possible. The condition is often the result of other eye problems so a doctor will be able to assess you and make a treatment plan that’s relevant to the cause.

Symptoms

Keratitis can cause pain in the eye or vision loss. However other possible symptoms are included below. It’s important that if you have any of these symptoms and you’re worried, you should speak to a doctor urgently. If you experience a combination of these symptoms then you should see a GP.

  • Pain in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • A sensation that something is in your eye

Causes

Keratitis has a number of causes, but it is usually the result of other eye problems or eyelid disorders. A bacterial, viral or fungal infection can be the cause, or injury to the cornea can lead to keratitis.

Wearing contact lenses can be a risk factor in developing keratitis.

Treatment for keratitis

Before a GP recommends any treatment they will need to establish what has caused your case of keratitis. Treatment will depend on the cause and may involve antibacterial eye drops or steroid drops. You may also require an assessment by an eye specialist.

If you wear contact lenses and are diagnosed with keratitis, you will likely need specific treatment and would need to stop wearing the lenses until advised otherwise by a doctor.

If you have eye pain or visual changes – speak to a doctor urgently.