Can herpes affect the eye?
It sure can, and it is usually accompanied by other issues such as pain, problems with light sensitivity, watery eyes, and a foreign body sensation.
In this photo, you can see some small little yellow star shapes on the cornea. These are called dendrites, and they are very common in patients who have herpes of the eye. When a patient has herpes simplex, they are put on oral antivirals such as Famcyclovir, Acyclovir, Valtrex, etc and/or a topical antiviral such as Viroptic or Zirgan.
These medications work to decrease the viral reproduction, and can help shorten the duration of the flare up. The most common symptoms of my patients with herpes is that their eye is in a tremendous amount of pain, they can't keep their eye open, and it feels like something is in their eye.
They also notice their eye waters a lot and feels very uncomfortable. Luckily, herpes is easily diagnosed by an eye doctor. Herpes affects patients of all ages - I've seen children, teenagers, and adults with herpes simplex in their eyes.
The best solution is to see your doctor immediately if you think there is a problem.
The sooner you are put on medications, the faster you will get relief.
In this particular patient, I put them on oral Acyclovir and viroptic eye drops and I also added an amniotic membrane to the eye.
The amniotic membrane helps to disperse the drug delivery of the eye drops, and it can speed up healing. Another great thing about amniotic membranes is that they reduce the amount of scar tissue to the cornea, after the event has resolved.
With treatment the little yellow star shapes have all disappeared and there is little to no scar tissue. I really like adding amniotic membranes or stem cells to patients who have corneal conditions, I have seen remarkable results with my own eyes.
We are so lucky to be living in an era of such incredible technology.
Financial disclosure: I have no financial interest in any amniotic membrane or stem cell companies