Do you need to know more about how to treat herpes simplex of the eye? Though the herpes simplex virus typically affects the mouth and genital areas, it can also affect the eye. This condition is known as ocular herpes. It causes sensitivity to light, pain, and discharge, and can lead to blindness if untreated. Though there is no cure for herpes simplex of the eye, your doctor may recommend treatment as follows:
- If the herpes infection is mostly in the top layer of the cornea (lens of the eye), your doctor can prescribe antiviral drops to treat the herpes. If it affects the middle layer of the cornea, antiviral drops and steroid drops will both be prescribed. Your eye doctor can determine what part of the eye has the herpes infection, and treat it accordingly. Some doctors will wipe away infected cells from the cornea using special instruments.
- In addition to eyedrops, over-the-counter antiviral medication can help keep the herpes simplex eye infection from returning. You should take these regularly, whether you are currently having a herpes outbreak or not. This medication can help minimize the symptoms and the likelihood of spreading the infection.
- If your herpes simplex eye infection goes untreated, it can lead to corneal scarring. If this occurs, you may need to undergo a corneal transplant. See your doctor right away if you have symptoms of ocular herpes to avoid this type of complication.
- Prevention can help you avoid herpes simplex eye infection. If you have a cold sore, avoid touching your eyes. Stop wearing your contact lenses. Do not use over-the-counter eyedrops, which can help the infection spread.