What is Fungal Keratitis?
Fungal keratitis is an infection of the cornea (the clear, round dome covering the eye's iris and pupil) that causes pain, reduced vision, light sensitivity and tearing or discharge from your eye. Resulting from infection from contact lens use or from injury to the eye, fungal keratitis usually develops very quickly, and if left untreated, can cause blindness. There are many different fungi that can infect the cornea such as Fusarium, Aspergillus or Candida.
Superficial keratitis involves the outermost layers of the cornea. When this form of keratitis has healed, there is usually no scar on the cornea.
Deep keratitis affects deeper corneal layers. There can be a scar left after healing, which may or may not affect your vision, depending on where the scar is located.
In addition to fungal keratitis, there are a number of other types of keratitis, including:
- Amoebic keratitis (usually affecting contact lens wearers, it is often caused by Acanthamoeba);
- Bacterial keratitis (infection with bacteria);
- Herpes keratitis (caused by herpes simplex and herpes zoster viruses); and
- Photokeratitis (due to intense ultraviolet radiation exposure, e.g., snow blindness or welder's arc eye).