• How can I reduce residual eye pain after recovering from shingles?


    Question:
    I have recovered from facial shingles but still experience pain around my eye and light sensitivity. Is there anything I can do to reduce these symptoms?

    Answer:

    First, if you have symptoms after recovering from shingles, you should see your ophthalmologist to make sure your eye does not have an active infection. Shingles in the eye can persist even after the skin improves. It can also come back without the skin rash. Typical symptoms to watch out for in an active infection can include pain, redness, light sensitivity, and blurred vision.

    After that, there are a number of reasons why patients can continue to have symptoms. Shingles infections of the cornea can cause scar tissue formation which commonly causes light sensitivity and visual impairment. In addition, shingles infections can alter the nerve sensitivity and lead to continued pain even after the virus is inactive in a condition called post-herpetic neuralgia. Also, altered nerve function of the cornea can cause neurotrophic keratitis, where the surface of the eye can break down which can also lead to light sensitivity, blurred vision, redness, and pain.

    Without an exam, it’s difficult to say how to reduce your lingering pain and light sensitivity. Once your ophthalmologist finds what’s causing these symptoms, they can explore ways to address their treatment.


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