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An eye with non-ulcerative sterile keratitis.

Keratitis is a condition in which the eye's cornea, the clear dome on the front surface of the eye, becomes inflamed.[1] The condition is often marked by moderate to intense pain and usually involves any of the following symptoms: pain, impaired eyesight, photophobia (light sensitivity), red eye and a 'gritty' sensation.[2]

Classification (by chronicity)[edit]

Slit Lamp biomicroscopy of filamentary keratitis



Classification (infective)[edit]


Dendritic corneal ulcer after fluorescein staining under cobalt blue illumination
Adenoviral keratitis of a 24-year-old woman




Acanthamoeba keratitis


Classification (by stage of disease)[edit]

Classification (by environmental aetiology)[edit]


Treatment depends on the cause of the keratitis. Infectious keratitis can progress rapidly, and generally requires urgent antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral therapy to eliminate the pathogen. Antibacterial solutions include levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin. It is unclear if steroid eye drops are useful or not.[9]

In addition, contact lens wearers are typically advised to discontinue contact lens wear and replace contaminated contact lenses and contact lens cases. (Contaminated lenses and cases should not be discarded as cultures from these can be used to identify the pathogen).

Aciclovir is the mainstay of treatment for HSV keratitis and steroids should be avoided at all costs in this condition. Application of steroids to a dendritic ulcer caused by HSV will result in rapid and significant worsening of the ulcer to form an 'amoeboid' or 'geographic' ulcer, so named because of the ulcer's map like shape.[10]


Some infections may scar the cornea to limit vision. Others may result in perforation of the cornea, endophthalmitis (an infection inside the eye), or even loss of the eye. With proper medical attention, infections can usually be successfully treated without long-term visual loss.

In non-humans[edit]

  • Feline eosinophilic keratitis — affecting cats and horses; possibly initiated by feline herpesvirus 1 or other viral infection.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Singh, Prabhakar; Gupta, Abhishek; Tripathy, Koushik (2021), "Keratitis", StatPearls, Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing, PMID 32644440, retrieved 2021-11-02
  2. ^ "Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences". Chicago Medicine. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
  3. ^ Tang A, Marquart ME, Fratkin JD, McCormick CC, Caballero AR, Gatlin HP, O'Callaghan RJ (2009). "Properties of PASP: A Pseudomonas Protease Capable of Mediating Corneal Erosions". Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 50 (8): 3794–801. doi:10.1167/iovs.08-3107. PMC 2874894. PMID 19255155.
  4. ^ Epstein, Arthur B (December 2007). "In the aftermath of the Fusarium keratitis outbreak: What have we learned?". Clinical Ophthalmology. 1 (4): 355–366. ISSN 1177-5467. PMC 2704532. PMID 19668512.
  5. ^ Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Khan, Naveed A.; Walochnik, Julia (2015). "An update on Acanthamoeba keratitis: diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment". Parasite. 22: 10. doi:10.1051/parasite/2015010. ISSN 1776-1042. PMC 4330640. PMID 25687209. open access
  6. ^ Martín-Navarro, M.; Lorenzo-Morales, J.; Cabrera-Serra, G.; Rancel, F.; Coronado-Alvarez, M.; Piñero, E.; Valladares, B. (Nov 2008). "The potential pathogenicity of chlorhexidine-sensitive Acanthamoeba strains isolated from contact lens cases from asymptomatic individuals in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain". Journal of Medical Microbiology. 57 (Pt 11): 1399–1404. doi:10.1099/jmm.0.2008/003459-0. ISSN 0022-2615. PMID 18927419.
  7. ^ CDC Advisory Archived 2007-05-31 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "What is onchocerciasis?". CDC. Retrieved 2010-06-28. transmission is most intense in remote African rural agricultural villages, located near rapidly flowing streams...(WHO) expert committee on onchocerciasis estimates the global prevalence is 17.7 million, of whom about 270,000 are blind.
  9. ^ Herretes, S; Wang, X; Reyes, JM (Oct 16, 2014). "Topical corticosteroids as adjunctive therapy for bacterial keratitis". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 10 (10): CD005430. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005430.pub3. PMC 4269217. PMID 25321340.
  10. ^ John F., Salmon (2020). "Cornea". Kanski's clinical ophthalmology : a systematic approach (9th ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-7020-7713-5. OCLC 1131846767.
  11. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2009-06-05.

External links[edit]