Herpes simplex is a virus which has two basic strains- HSV1 (Herpes Simplex Type I) and HSV2 (Herpes Simplex Type 2). The HSV2 is more frequently associated with genital herpes while the HSV1 leads to cold sores around the mouth and eye infections. Though reports suggest that HSV2 can lead to cold sores and eye infections, it is very rare.
In most cases, a herpes simplex virus infection on the eye clears without any significant problems. However, occasionally, the viral infection can lead to scarring and thereby result in permanent damage or loss to the vision. Prompt treatment for the management of the condition is therefore essential.
What Causes Herpes Infection Of The Eye?
Estimates suggest that about two in 1000 people develop an active herpes eye infection at some stage in their life. The most common time of the infection is around the age of 30 to 40 years, though it is more frequent in individuals with previous history of cold sores in their life.
The primary infection (first infection), often occurs during childhood. This is often passed on through close contact. Eventually, however, in most cases, the virus remains inactive without any symptoms.
In some cases however, the virus may get activated from time to time. When the virus is activated, it travels via the nerve branch on to the skin, resulting in cold sores. In few cases, the virus travels down the nerve branch to the eye, resulting in an eye infection.
The condition is also more frequent in individuals who wear contact lenses.
Symptoms Of Herpes Eye Infection
The infection most commonly affects the most superficial layer of cornea, called the epithelial keratitis. Occasionally deeper layers called the stromal keratitis may also get affected. Other parts of the eye may also get infected with the conjunctiva and the eyelids, being the most common. It is rare for the deeper structures like the iris and the retina to get infected.
The common symptoms associated with the condition include,
- Redness around the cornea of the eye.
- Pain and aching in the eye.
- Photophobia or discomfort on exposure to bright light associated with excessive watering.
- As the condition progresses, blurring of vision may also be reported.
Natural Remedies For Herpes Of The Eye
Here are some important home remedies and natural tips to help deal with herpes infection of the eye,
- Homeopathic drugs are considered beneficial to deal with viral infection of the eye. Passiflora and Eupharasia eye drops are helpful to alleviate symptoms of pain, burning and redness and also prevent the spread of the infection to surrounding or deeper parts.
- Stop using contact lens for the duration of about two weeks to hasten the healing process. Contact lens can be associated with the risk of recurrent infections and hence should be avoided during the healing phase. Also replace your contact lens on regular basis and maintain utmost eye care hygiene to prevent infections.
- Add a table spoon of turmeric powder, equal amount of honey to a glass of warm milk. Consume this three to four times in a day. This will not only help bolster immunity but also alleviate some of the symptoms.
- Finally, increase the consumption of Vitamin C foods and supplements to enhance immunity.