Maine Corneal Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland commented on Shingles Eye Infections. “Herpes Zoster Shingles eye infection or Keratitis is actually caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, called Varicella-Zoster virus,” commented Dr. Shah. “It is entirely possible that after having chicken pox as a child, the virus remains in the nerve cells of your body in an inactive state and due to a number of possible reasons, the virus can reactivate later in life and travel through the nerves in your body causing a painful blistering rash,” he further explained. “We become concerned if the Varicella-Zoster virus travels to your head or neck because it can affect the eye and thus cause a corneal infection or Keratitis.”
It is critical to have Herpes Zoster Keratitis diagnosed quickly as the infection can penetrate deeply into the cornea and it can cause scarring and vision loss. The Herpes Zoster “Shingles” eye infection can also result in a loss of corneal sensation, which can be permanent and very undesirable. It may be necessary to 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 chicken pox Varicella-Zoster virus to get shingles. However, it seems to mostly 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 so it is important to schedule regular follow up appointments for eye examinations as instructed by your doctor.
If you or someone you know has had Shingles or Chicken Pox and is experiencing any type of eye problem please call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020 and request an immediate appointment or visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.
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), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetic retinopathy 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.