Eye Herpes (cont.)
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The doctor may prescribe an antiviral eyedrop such as trifluridine. Acyclovir (Zovirax), another antiviral drug, can be taken by mouth. Treatment should be started as soon as possible. Infections that cause deep inflammation may require use of corticosteroid drops and drops that dilate the eye, such as atropine (Atreza) or scopolamine (Scopace). Occasionally, to help speed healing, an ophthalmologist may gently rub the surface of the cornea to remove infectious virus and viral antigens that contribute to the keratitis. Since most cases of HSV epithelial keratitis resolve spontaneously within three weeks, the rationale for treatment is to minimize damage and scarring. Antiviral therapy, topical or oral, is an effective treatment of ophthalmic herpes infections. Patients with frequent recurrences of ocular HSV may be placed on a long-term regimen of oral antiviral medication at a maintenance dose to reduce this frequency.
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