Your cornea is a transparent structure that covers your iris and pupil, and it’s the one that focuses light into your eye. So in other words, it’s integral to keeping your vision intact. However, there are instances in which the cornea becomes inflamed. This condition is referred to by eye specialists as keratitis, and it is something that needs to be taken very seriously because, if left untreated, it can cause loss of vision.
Do you wear contact lenses? Then you may be at risk of having keratitis. Particularly if the contact lenses you are using do not fit properly or you habitually wear them longer than what’s recommended, then your cornea may become dry and prone to becoming scratched — such can lead to the inflammation of your cornea.
Other usual causes of keratitis include direct trauma to the eye and certain viruses such as herpes simplex and those that affect the respiratory system. Eye specialists say that it is possible for you to have short-term keratitis when your eyes are exposed to harsh swimming pool chemicals. A severe allergy that causes excessive eye dryness can be a cause as well. There are instances, however, when the cause cannot be identified.
Certainly, no one would want to lose his or her eyesight. That’s why at the first sign of keratitis, a certified eye specialist should be seen right away. So how can you tell if what you are having is a simple eye irritation or keratitis? Read on. Below you will find some of the signs that you may already have keratitis.
It’s Like Something’s in the Eye
Does it seem like there’s a grain of sand, eyelash or any other small foreign object in your eye each time you blink? It may be a sign that your cornea is scratched, which can lead to the inflammation of this very important part of your eye. Rubbing the eye is not a good idea as it may only exacerbate the problem.
Your Eye is Red
Just about any problem concerning the eyes can cause redness, and keratitis is no exemption. Especially right after having the cornea scratched, eye redness is very much likely to take place. Putting eye drops for redness can be a challenging task because of another symptom of keratitis which will be discussed next.
There is Pain Present
Since your cornea is injured, it doesn’t come as surprise why pain is present — it’s your body’s way of informing you that something is not right, and that you should seek the help of an eye specialist right away. Sometimes, you may have trouble opening your eyes because of the sheer pain involved when you attempt to do so.
You Have Watery Eyes
It’s a normal reaction of your eyes to produce more tears if it feels that something in them has to be washed off to prevent complications. In the case of keratitis, it’s the irritation of your cornea that’s causing lots of tears to be produced. There are instances in which other discharge, too, may come from the affected eye.
Your Vision is Blurred or Decreased
Since it is your cornea that is responsible for directing light into your eye, your vision will surely be affected if a problem with your cornea is present, such as when its surface is scratched. In some cases, you will find that your vision is blurry. You may also realize that your ability to see is decreased.
There is Photosensitivity
When you have keratitis, you will find that you are sensitive to bright lights. Of course everyone cannot stare directly at bright lights, but you will notice that you are extra sensitive to them if your cornea is scratched. It may be an indicator that the part of your eye responsible for refracting or bending light is injured.
If you experience some or all of the above, see to it that you step foot in the clinic of an eye specialist ASAP in order to keep complications from happening.