Overview

A corneal infection, or keratitis, occurs when the cornea is damaged by a foreign object, by bacteria or by fungi from a contaminated contact lens. Keratitis can cause painful inflammation and lead to corneal scarring.

Warning Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of a corneal infection include:

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • An itchy/burning feeling in your eye

The deeper the infection, the more painful the symptoms will be.

Treatment/Procedures

For minor infections, keratitis is generally treated with anti-bacterial drops. More severe infections require stronger antibiotics or anti-fungal treatment. Steroid drops may also be used to control inflammation.

If corneal scarring occurs, it can lead to loss of vision or even blindness, which may require a .

Prevention

Contact lens wearers are at higher risk of corneal infection than people who don’t wear lenses, so proper contact care is vital. Protective eyewear should be worn during activities that could accidentally throw particles or other foreign bodies into the eye.