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La keratitis It is the inflammation of the cornea caused by a bacterial infection, prolonged use of contact lenses, eye injuries or the presence of a foreign body inside the eye.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain what keratitis is, what its causes are, what symptoms it has and how to prevent it. 

Definition of keratitis

definition of keratitis

keratitis or corneal ulcer is a inflammation which usually occurs in the outer layer of the cornea called the epithelium.

If it affects only the outer part of the cornea, it is known as superficial keratitis and usually heals without major problems.

However, when keratitis has damaged the inner layers of the cornea, it is called ulcerative keratitis.

This type is usually less common and is quite dangerous, since it can form a scar on the cornea (walleye) and severely impair vision. 


There are several factors that can cause keratitis. The most common are:

  • Eye dryness. He Dry eye syndrome it can cause superficial lesions in the form of small points in the lower and middle zone of the tissue. This type of keratitis is known as punctate keratitis
  • Virus. Some viruses such as herpes simplex and shingles can cause herpetic keratitis. This type of keratitis is considered high risk, as it can cause scarring of the cornea. 
  • Bacterial infection. The proliferation of bacteria in the ocular structure is the main cause of a bacterial keratitis.
  • Contact lenses. Incorrectly disinfecting contact lenses stimulates the accumulation of bacteria, fungi and parasites that can trigger infectious keratitis. 
  • Eye injuries. Any blow or injury to the eye structure may cause inflammation of the cornea.  
  • Other causes. Contaminated water, toxic substances, abnormal closing of the Eyelids and allergies, among others. People with a weakened immune system will have a higher risk of suffering from keratitis. 

Symptoms of ocular keratitis

The symptoms of keratitis or corneal ulcer are the following:

  • Eye redness
  • Pain.
  • Excessive tearing
  • Eye discharge.
  • Difficulty opening the eyelid due to pain or irritation
  • Blurred vision.
  • waste of visual acuity.
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensation of having a foreign body inside the eye


The best way to prevent keratitis is to avoid each of its causes. We advise you to put the following recommendations into practice: 

  • Clean your contact lenses and disinfect them Correctly.
  • Before cleaning your glasses or contact lenses, wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water
  • If you have a cold sore or ampherpetic pot, avoid touching your eyes, eyebrows or tabs with the hands.
  • The use of eye drops, artificial tears and eye drops must be prescribed by an ophthalmologist. The incorrect use of these medicines can affect the cornea.
  • Go to the ophthalmologist in case of eye injury or trauma
  • Wear sunglasses whenever you are exposed to the sun's rays
  • Don't sleep with makeup

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada we are experts in the prevention and treatment of keratitis. If you present any symptoms, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you!

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Find out what keratitis is, what its causes are, what symptoms it has and how to prevent it.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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