Maine Corneal Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland commented on Herpes Simplex eye infections. “Herpes Simplex eye infections affect many more people each year than one might think. 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, “ stated Dr. Shah. “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 can often lead to irreversible scarring of the cornea with a loss of vision and even the need for a corneal transplant.”
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. Quick diagnosis and treatment is the key to avoiding corneal scarring, vision loss and the possible need for a corneal transplant.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any signs or symptoms of corneal infection-especially if they have had any trauma to their eyes-please call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020 and request an immediate appointment.
Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), refractive laser eye surgery such as LASIK for vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.