What Is Keratitis?
Keratitis is a condition where the cornea—the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil—becomes swollen or inflamed, making the eye red and painful and affecting vision. Keratitis is also known as corneal ulcer.
Some forms of keratitis may involve an infection, including bacterial keratitis, viral keratitis, fungal keratitis and parasitic keratitis. Contact lens wearers need to remember that infectious keratitis can result from not caring for your contact lenses properly.
A non-infectious form of keratitis may be caused by a simple fingernail scratch or from wearing your contact lenses too long.
Whatever form of keratitis you may have, it is crucial that you see an ophthalmologist right away. Waiting to have your keratitis diagnosed and treated can lead to serious complications, including blindness.
Image reprinted, with permission, from Schwab IR, External Disease and Cornea: A Multimedia Collection, San Francisco: American Academy of Ophthalmology, 1994.