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Eye Herpes (cont.)


Follow-up care usually depends on the severity of the eye problem. Signs and symptoms of recurrence of herpes simplex keratitis are similar to the first episode. Return to your ophthalmologist or the emergency room if you have increased eye pain, any loss of vision, increased eye discharge or redness, or swelling around the eye. Patients with HSV keratitis need to be monitored closely until the disease is inactive. Any suspicious corneal cloudy area (infiltrate) in the presence of HSV epithelial keratitis should be cultured for possible secondary bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection and then managed with appropriate topical agents.

Prevention and Outlook

Contact lens wear, although not contraindicated in patients with previous HSV keratitis, should be used with caution. Patients should understand that contact lens wear may increase the risk of secondary corneal infection with HSV epithelial keratitis. They should be instructed to discontinue contact lens wear at the earliest symptoms of HSV keratitis recurrence.

Herpes simplex keratitis often causes no permanent visual loss but should be treated by a doctor as complications can arise and they can be severe.

For More Information on Eye Herpes

American Academy of Ophthalmology

Medically reviewed by William Baer, MD; Board Certified Ophthalmology


Kaye, S. and Choudhary, A. "Herpes Simplex Keratitis." Prog Retin Eye Res 25.4 Jul7 2006:355-380.

Wang, J.C. "Herpes Simplex Keratitis." Aug. 7, 2009 eMedicine. <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2015
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