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Keratitis Symptoms and Causes

Keratitis Definition

Keratitis is an inflammation or infection of the eye's cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Keratitis may be mild, moderate, or severe and may be associated with inflammation of other parts of the eye. The condition can be acute or chronic; its effects on the eye can be limited or get progressively worse. Superficial keratitis only affects the surface layer of the cornea. When it affects the deeper layers (stroma) of the cornea, it is called stromal keratitis.

Keratitis Symptoms

The following are the most common symptoms of keratitis:

  • Pain and redness in the eye
  • Discomfort when the person looks at a light (photophobia)
  • Tearing, watery eyes, or discharge
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling as if something is in the eye

Keratitis symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis. Keratitis is a medical emergency because the more severe cases could lead to blindness.

Keratitis Causes

There are many different causes of keratitis, including a variety of underlying medical diseases. The following are some of the more common causes:

  • Bacteria — the most common cause
  • Vitamin A deficiencies
  • Viruses
  • Trauma-usually following insertion of an object into the eye
  • Dry eyes
  • Fungi
  • Parasites