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Anyone, even a newborn, is at risk of suffering herpes in the eye or in the eyelid, a disease caused mainly by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is present and asleep in most of the world population.

Eye herpes causes tearing, pain, photophobia, blurry vision and small wounds that can be very annoying. Treating this condition in time is important to avoid major complications such as uveitis.

En Advanced Ophthalmology Area we detail everything you need to know about this condition.

Herpes in the eye and herpes in the eyelid

Herpes on the eyelid lasts between 5-10 days.

Why do herpes get in the eye and how long do they last?

Ocular herpetic disease is a condition that can be caused by different types of viruses, affecting both the eye and the eyelid. The most common viruses are:

  • El simple virus or 1 type, which is also responsible for mouth ulcers. This virus is found in the human body and it is not until it wakes up that it can cause conditions such as cold sores or cold sores. This type of herpes can cause corneal inflammation known by the name of keratitis and get to cause a corneal ulcer.
  • The other virus that can cause herpes in eyelids and eyes is the zoster virus or 2 type. This virus is responsible for chickenpox and shingles and when it affects any eye we talk about herpes zoster ophthalmicus.

Both viruses are present in the human body and can spend a lifetime asleep. However, when the immune system is weakened by some disease, the risk of any of these viruses waking up and causing herpes in a certain part of the body increases.

The herpes on the eyelids are annoying, unsightly and can be dangerous for visual health. Many people ask how long they last before they heal completely but it is difficult to stipulate a correct answer. Each person reacts differently to a herpes in the eyes. The ocular herpes It usually disappears a few days after starting treatmentHowever, as with cold sores, once it appears, it becomes a cyclical condition, that is, it can repeat every so often.

Is herpes in the eye contagious?

Effectively, the herpes on the eyelids or in the eyes are contagious if you have direct contact with one of these lesions and one of the viruses that cause the condition is awake in the body. That is, if you have already suffered previous episodes and you touch another's herpes, it is very likely that the lesion is transferred. Even touching a lip lesion and then running your hands through your eyes can trigger a herpes in the eye in people with an active virus.

If you have never suffered from cold sores or eyes, the risk of infection is much lower.

Symptoms of ocular herpes

Signs and symptoms of herpes on the eyelid may vary depending on the virus that caused it.

Symptoms of eye herpes caused by herpes zoster virus:

  • Pain in or around the affected eye
  • Redness and rash
  • Irritation of the eyelid and around the eye.
  • Irritation that may also appear on the forehead or tip of the nose.
  • Swelling of the cornea.

Symptoms of eye herpes caused by herpes simplex virus:

  • Decreased vision
  • Pain in or around the eye
  • Ocular redness
  • Sensation of having sand or a foreign body inside the eye.
  • Pain and sensitivity to light.
  • Swelling of the cornea

Treatment of herpes in the eye

As mentioned earlier, ocular herpes is a cyclical condition that once it appears can repeat several times throughout life. Unfortunately, there is no definitive treatment that combats the existence in the body of the viruses responsible for this injury. Therefore, depending on the type of virus that has caused ocular herpetic disease, a specific treatment should be carried out to treat the lesion and prevent future relapses.

Treatment for ophthalmic herpes zoster

If you wonder how to cure herpes on the eyelid, you have to take into account what type it is. If it is a Zoster virus then, the consumption of antiviral drugs is the key to treating this and any other condition. Antibiotics are not considered an efficient option. Because it is an ophthalmic lesion, the specialist will also prescribe eye drops to calm the symptoms and prevent major complications. If the herpes infection has spread to the cornea, treatment may include corticosteroid drops. Herpes zoster is also treated with antihistamines, anti-inflammatories and analgesics.

Treatment for ocular herpes simplex

This type of herpes in the eye is also treated with antivirals in drops or ointments. However, due to the excessive tearing caused by this condition, the constant cleaning of the eye is an indispensable part of an effective treatment. Also, it is likely that the medical specialist prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling of the cornea and eyelid.

In the event of a herpes lesion in the eye, it is essential to visit the ophthalmologist immediately, as the treatment may vary depending on the eye conditions of each person.

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Dr. Carlos Verges Roger, PhD. Ophthalmologist and Medical Director
Ophthalmologist surgeon specializing in ocular surface, corneal transplant, refractive surgery, cataract surgery and dry eye and works as Medical Director in Advanced Ophthalmological Area. His training highlights his stay at Harvard University and his Doctoral Thesis on the mechanisms of lacrimal secretion, which will be basic to understand the pathology of Dry Eye Syndrome and which represent the National Research Award (1983). He continues his training by completing a Corneal Fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (1985) and in Ocular Pathology at the Moorfield Eye Hospital in London and the Hôpital de Dieu de Paris (1986). Throughout his career he has received prestigious awards such as the INQUIFARMA National Award. In 1991 he won the oppositions of Professors Full Professor and went on to serve as Head of Service of the Department of Ophthalmology at Hospital del Mar.
Dr. Carlos Verges Roger, PhD. Ophthalmologist and Medical Director

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